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EVANS NOT SIGNING LEE FRECKLINGTON
16th January 2018 11:40


Stags pull out of race for Frecklington
mansfieldtown.net, 11 JAN 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans has today confirmed that he is no longer in the hunt for Rotherham United club captain Lee Frecklington, despite having a bid accepted for the 32-year-old midfielder yesterday.

Terms of the deal were agreed yesterday, however the club have withdrawn their offer for the central midfielder and no further negotiations will take place.

This transfer would have signalled the gaffer's first activity of the January window, however the boss revealed he changed his mind on the deal this morning.

"Yesterday, in the space of a 60 second conversation with the chairman at Rotherham, we'd agreed a fee to buy Lee Frecklington and were given permission to speak to Lee's representatives, which we did," the Stags' chief said.

"I went to bed, [as did] the chairman and the chief executive (John and Carolyn Radford) last night feeling satisfied with that process.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/january/evans-11-jan/

"I woke up this morning and as the time got to nine or ten o'clock, we had a feeling that it (the deal) wasn't quite right for us. We had a conference call between myself, the chairman and the chief executive and it was my decision to say that I don't think we should go forward in this process."

The gaffer managed Frecklington whilst manager of Rotherham United and although the former Peterborough midfielder won't be joining him at One Call Stadium, the boss insists he still has other 'irons in the fire.'

"The chief executive and I, we 'bumped' midnight over last night on two or three other players.

"We've got a clear idea where we want to go, we've got an even more clear idea where the players are and between the chairman and the chief executive they're trying to put the business side together which would then lead me to talk football.

"We've got irons in the fire. We could have progress maybe to the extent with them arriving tomorrow where we can put our focus into that, but the focus has to be Cambridge on Saturday."

The Stags travel to Cambridge United on Saturday in the midst of a run of only one defeat in 19 games, whilst the U's are unbeaten in four games after enjoying a fruitful festive period and the gaffer is expecting a tough encounter at the Abbey Stadium.

"It's going to be tough; they're four unbeaten.

"They got a bit of a 'slapping' at Luton, I'm sure they've learnt from that as we all do when we've had a slapping but you come out and you regroup.

"They've got good players. We were fortunate to beat them here, I went away from that day thinking 'we'll take it but we were a bit lucky'.

"I'm sure we'll take a good following and, as always, we say stick with us for how many minutes you see the Stags' players in front of you."

Frontman Kane Hemmings underwent a scan which revealed 'as minor a hamstring strain as you could see' after he was forced off at Cardiff City last week, however the boss has been bolstered by three players returning from injury this week.

"Kane's had his scan, it's nothing major. He's 50/50 for Saturday; if he's still 50/50 come tomorrow he obviously won't be involved.

"I've been out [at training] this morning and they've (Danny Rose, Zander Diamond and Joel Byrom) all trained. They're all big players and big characters Rose, Diamond and Byrom.

"I've missed Joel Byrom as much as I'd miss a pillow if I went to bed, he's essential."

Subscribers can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference.

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Stags pull out of deal to sign Frecklington
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 11 January 2018

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans today sensationally pulled out of an agreed deal to sign midfield ace Lee Frecklington from Rotherham United. Frecklington, now 32, starred for Evans at Rotherham, and last night a deal was agreed to sign him at Mansfield, pipping Frecklington’s old club and promotion rivals Lincoln City for his services.

However, Evans dwelled on the deal overnight and, hearing nothing first thing today from the player, decided to go with his instincts and withdraw.

“Yesterday, in the space of a 60-second conversation between myself and the chairman at Rotherham, we’d agreed a fee to buy Lee Frecklington and been given permission to talk to his representatives, which we did,” said Evans.

“We went to bed last night wholly satisfied with that process. We were going to pick it up and perhaps move it forward today. “But this morning when nine and then 10-o’clock came, we didn’t get the feeling it was right.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-pull-out-of-deal-to-sign-frecklington-1-8952894

“We had a conference call between myself, the chairman and chief executive and I told them I didn’t think we should go forward in this process. “When I explained my thoughts to them we all unanimously agreed.” He continued: “Nothing changed overnight from a Mansfield Town point of view or a Rotherham United point of view. “Maybe sometimes demands get put on you that as a manager you just think it breaks the line. “As much as I had the support from the chairman and chief executive to say don’t let it break the line, I think they know me now. “We couldn’t quite get it over the line - it was just starting to run away. “I don’t get every decision right but I try to manage John Radford’s money as if it’s my money - I’m a Scotsman! “It was just stacking up more and more for me in my head. Also Lee is a Lincoln boy and I know what he thinks of their club. “When I first signed him he was phoning me every five minutes and wanting to be there that minute and I just got the feeling it wasn’t quite there this morning. “When you get that feeling as a manager, the saying is ‘if in doubt, get out’.” Evans then made a call to Rotherham to break the news to his former chairman. “We told Rotherham we were going to withdraw from the process, which was received by Tony Stewart in the gentlemanly manner I expected from him,” said Evans. “He understood completely and had empathy with us. “We then messaged Lee’s representatives to say the offer we’d discussed was now withdrawn. “If Lee stays at Rotherham then he’s a legend for all the right reasons. If he goes back to Lincoln, where he started and I first saw him, they’ve got a good player. “He’s a terrific lad and he was brilliant for me. But we are not in the process any more - we are over and out.” However, Evans remains in the hunt for fresh faces, though admits it’s now more likely to be after Saturday’s game at Cambridge. “The chief executive and I burned the midnight oil last night on two or three other players,” he said. “We have a clear idea where we want to go positionally and an even clearer idea where players are. “Between the chairman and chief executive, they are trying to pull the business side together which leaves me to talk football. “The focus has to be Cambridge on Saturday, so we’ll pick it up after the weekend. We will be signing players for sure.” Could it happen for the Cambridge game? Evans said: “We have irons in the fire and we could have progressed maybe some of them to the extent they arrived here in the morning and we put our focus on that. “Never say never, but the plan is not for players to be coming in tomorrow when we are focusing on the team and set plays and the shape for what will be a tough afternoon down at Cambridge.” Evans said he remained on the trail of players at the top of his wanted lists. “We are still at the top level,” he said. “When you’re offering money for players you’re still at the top level. “But we are not alone - look at the business other clubs are trying to do. But our list has not changed and Frecklington was at the higher end of it.”

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Evans was disappointed not to lure Frecklington to Mansfield last week, withdrawing an offer to buy him once he was convinced Frecklington was going to end up at promotion rivals Lincoln.
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 15 January 2018 (four days later)

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-stays-patient-over-targets-as-window-reaches-halfway-point-1-8959226

“Lee wanted to play for his home town club,” he said. “Why did I pull the deal? Because I got the feeling that Lee wanted to play there.

“I respect that. Lee started at Lincoln and I think that was always where he was going to end up. He’s at the age where this might be his last club.

“His agent probably got us involved to get him a deal there. “I am not so sure Lincoln will be doing as many deals as they thought they would after they signed ‘Frecks because of the cost of it. But he’s a wonderful lad and a wonderful player.”

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Stags quartet in contention for Cambridge
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town loan striker Kane Hemmings could be fit for Saturday’s trip to Cambridge United after a scan of his hamstring injury revealed nothing serious. Stags will also be boosted by returns from injury for top scorer Danny Rose, skipper Zander Diamond and midfield ace Joel Byrom. Hemmings limped off at Cardiff last weekend, but now has half a chance of playing this weekend, though no risks will be taken. “Kane has had his scan and it’s nothing major,” said manager Steve Evans. “He is 50-50 for Saturday right now. If he’s 50-50 for Saturday come tomorrow he obviously won’t be involved. “It’s as minor a strain as one could have on a hamstring. “Kane will be fit for after the weekend. If we were two or three games from the end of the season Kane would definitely be out there on Saturday. “But we’re not so probably need to look after him a little bit.” On the other injured trio, Evans added: “They have all trained the last few days - one or two of them trained well and one trained like I would train! Not very good. “But they all big players and big characters. I have missed Joel Byrom as much as I would miss a pillow if it wasn’t there on my bed. He is essential. We need him back.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-quartet-in-contention-for-cambridge-1-8954992

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Stags avoiding FA Cup thoughts as focus remains on Cambridge
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town’s players and manager continue to avoid all thoughts of the FA Cup as they head for the bread and butter of a League Two trip to Cambridge United on Saturday. The town is buzzing with the excitement of Tuesday’s home third round replay with Cardiff City with Premier League giants Manchester City awaiting the winners. Players arrived at the club again today to see queues snaking out the ticket office. But manager Evans said: “We have a group of players that know if they get the shirt at Cambridge they have to perform if they want to play on Tuesday. “The same goes Tuesday for next Saturday. “100 per cent I have not thought about Cardiff since we left there. We can’t do any more preparation on Cardiff. It was all done for the first game. “We know what team Neil Warnock will put out. He’s already gone on record this week as saying he’ll pick his strongest side. “We can’t think for one minute about it. Tuesday might never come. We all have to wake up tomorrow first. “The most important thing for me is winning the next game.” On Saturday’s opponents, Evans said: “They are four unbeaten since they got a bit of a slapping at Luton. Shaun (boss Derry) will have learned from that as we all do. “You regroup. They have a manager who is a fighter - he is tenacious. He organises his teams well.” United have been strengthened by the arrival of Norwich U23 skipper Adam Phillips. “They’ve signed the young kid from Norwich, ex-Liverpool, who is a decent player and I’d imagine he’d go straight into the battle,” said Evans. “He is a terrific talent and they’ve done well to get him in the door. “They have good players and we were fortunate to beat them here. “Cambridge is a great place to go - I’ll get plenty of stick here. I’m sure we’ll take a good following with us too. We are looking forward to it.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-avoiding-fa-cup-thoughts-as-focus-remains-on-cambridge-1-8954415

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Stags turn down offers for in-demand trio
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans is relieved to have been able to turn down sizeable bids for three of his current squad this week. Evans was full of praise for chairman John Radford for allowing him to keep his promotion-chasers together and not go for the cash being dangled in front of the club. “We have had seven or eight calls and we’ve turned offers for three players this week,” said Evans. “When I first walked in here I would say they were offers of a size that John Radford would have taken. “But we were together last night for a few hours at the chairman’s house and he just said to me do you want to take these offers that have come in? “I said as a manager I didn’t and he said he didn’t either. It was fantastic support and we are in good shape.” However, there will be one or two fringe players that will go out. “The ones that will go are the ones that will go out on loan or one or two may go permanently next week,” said Evans. “They’re the ones we don’t see playing for us this season. But they’re good players so they will be sought after.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-turn-down-offers-for-in-demand-trio-1-8953072

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Stags avoiding FA Cup thoughts as focus remains on Cambridge
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town’s players and manager continue to avoid all thoughts of the FA Cup as they head for the bread and butter of a League Two trip to Cambridge United on Saturday. The town is buzzing with the excitement of Tuesday’s home third round replay with Cardiff City with Premier League giants Manchester City awaiting the winners. Players arrived at the club again today to see queues snaking out the ticket office. But manager Evans said: “We have a group of players that know if they get the shirt at Cambridge they have to perform if they want to play on Tuesday. “The same goes Tuesday for next Saturday. “100 per cent I have not thought about Cardiff since we left there. We can’t do any more preparation on Cardiff. It was all done for the first game. “We know what team Neil Warnock will put out. He’s already gone on record this week as saying he’ll pick his strongest side. “We can’t think for one minute about it. Tuesday might never come. We all have to wake up tomorrow first. “The most important thing for me is winning the next game.” On Saturday’s opponents, Evans said: “They are four unbeaten since they got a bit of a slapping at Luton. Shaun (boss Derry) will have learned from that as we all do. “You regroup. They have a manager who is a fighter - he is tenacious. He organises his teams well.” United have been strengthened by the arrival of Norwich U23 skipper Adam Phillips. “They’ve signed the young kid from Norwich, ex-Liverpool, who is a decent player and I’d imagine he’d go straight into the battle,” said Evans. “He is a terrific talent and they’ve done well to get him in the door. “They have good players and we were fortunate to beat them here. “Cambridge is a great place to go - I’ll get plenty of stick here. I’m sure we’ll take a good following with us too. We are looking forward to it.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-avoiding-fa-cup-thoughts-as-focus-remains-on-cambridge-1-8954415

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Winger feeling confident after run of starts
mansfieldtown.net, 11 JAN 2018

Energetic winger Alfie Potter says the Stags' squad are 'buzzing' following a run of just one defeat in 19 games in all competitions, a spell which has seen them move to just one point outside the automatic promotion places in Sky Bet League Two.

The Stags take on Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday (13 January, 3.00pm kick-off) with Steve Evans' men aiming to break into the top three, whilst the U's will be hoping to close the gap the play-off places.

And Potter, who is hoping to extend his excellent run of form by starting his fourth consecutive game on Saturday, is feeling confident in his own performances and the team's displays in recent weeks.

"I've had a little run of games now. We've picked up a couple of wins and a good draw away at Cardiff so personally it's good for me at the minute and the group, it's going really well at the minute and long may it continue," the former Northampton Town man said.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/january/potter-11-jan/

"The more games we're winning, the more confident we're getting. I think it's starting to show in our performances. We're starting to produce much better performances."

"I think I've done well [lately]. I think I've deserved to stay in the team at this minute in time but I've got to keep doing that every week now because there is a lot of competition for places.

"I felt like I've been ready to play for a long time now. I've felt confident and I've felt fit so I've just been patient for my chance and hopefully I'll keep taking it."

In the league, the Stags picked up 10 points from a possible 12 over the festive period and following last weekend's marvellous display against Championship side Cardiff City in the FA Cup, Potter commented on the positivity within the Stags' dressing room.

"Coming into work every day, everybody's buzzing! I've been at teams when things aren't going too well and sometimes coming into training is a bit of a drag but at the minute I can't wait to get in every day.

"I still think there's more to come from us, we've been a bit slow at getting started sometimes but now you're starting to see us click and I think we'll go from strength to strength as the season goes on."

Potter also believes that the support of the club's fans and the backing of the coaching staff helps to keep standards high in training and on matchdays.

"When the fans turn up and back us and you get the backing from all the coaching staff, that breathes confidence as well.

"The results play a massive part [in building confidence] but also the feeling you get from the fans does. When they're happy, we're more confident."

iFollow Stags subscribers can login to our premium broadcast service to view Alfie Potter's full news conference.

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Potter believes confident Stags have more to come
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 11 January 2018

Alfie Potter says confidence is as high as it's ever been in his time at Mansfield Town so far - but that there is more to come from him and his teammates.

Potter has come into the side in recent weeks and was among the scorers in the 2-1 win at Wycombe Wanderers. And he's delighted to be playing a part in a strong side.

He said: "I’ve had a little run of games now and we’ve picked up a some wins and a good draw at Cardiff, so personally and as a group it’s going well at the moment so long may it continue.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/potter-believes-confident-stags-have-more-to-come-1-8953204

“I think I’ve done well and deserved to stay in the team but I’ve got to keep doing it every week now as there is a lot of competition for places and if you have one or two below-par displays you can be out of the team. “But I’ve felt like I’m ready to play for a while and just had to be patient. Hopefully now I can take my chance. “I haven’t played enough football over the last 18 months so I’m hungry to get back in the team on a regular basis and kick on." Potter has highlighted how good team morale and strong performances can only be of benefit as Stags aim for promotion. He said: "Everyone is buzzing at the moment. I’ve been at teams where things aren’t going too well and training can be a bit of a drag, but at the moment I can’t wait to get in every day. “Confidence is at a peak although I’d still say there’s more to come from us. It took a little while for us to click given all the new signings but we are gelling much better now and I think we’ll go from strength to strength. “Confidence plays a massive part, particularly for the kind of player I am. As a team it’s the same and I think the confidence is starting to show in our performances. “It’s not just about winning. Our performance at Cardiff was good even though we didn’t win and gives us belief moving forward. The fans turning up and backing us is crucial too as when they’re happy, we’re more confident.” “Momentum is key too. When I was at Northampton we were there or thereabouts around Christmas, then put a few wins together and there was no stopping us. We won ten on the bounce and it became a habit." Stags head to Cambridge United on Saturday aiming to strengthen their own promotion hopes against a side who still harbour ambitions of breaking into the top seven themselves. Potter said: "We’ve had a bit of a rest and training is good too. It’s a massive game for us on Saturday. I think a few clubs around us are playing each other so it’s important to put in a performance. “The cup tie hasn’t really been spoken about, even with the draw being made and it being a big game against Manchester City if we get through. “Saturday takes priority and if we don’t put a performance in then not only might we be out of the play-offs but some players may end up out of the team.”

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Potter hopes to create more FA Cup memories
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Alfie Potter has plenty of precious FA Cup memories to draw upon - and is now hoping to make more with Mansfield Town. The midfielder most famously featured for Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville when they reached the FA Cup fourth round back in 2008, losing 5-2 to Liverpool at Anfield with Potter scoring one of the goals. And it's a memory he's happy to relive. He said: "It’s a long time ago, nearly ten years now. It’s an unbelievable competition - people say it’s losing its magic but when you have a moment like that it lives with you for a long time. I still look at memorabilia I’ve got from the day and it was a very proud day for me. “I was only about 18 or 19 and it’s a bit of a blur to be honest. To just be on the pitch with some of those players was unbelievable, but to score the goal was too and it made the rest of the game a blur. “There was lots of publicity around it in the weeks afterwards and it’ll live with me forever. If we can have an occasion like that here, it’s the kind of thing you can tell your grandchildren about." Now, as Stags prepare to face Cardiff City in a replay on Tuesday night with the prize of a home tie against Manchester City at stake, Potter hopes to create more memories for not only himself but for the supporters. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a couple of good runs in the FA Cup and played against some Premier League sides, so to have that again would be fantastic and great for the town too. It’s the best competition in the world in my eyes.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/potter-hopes-to-create-more-fa-cup-memories-1-8953228

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Injury update: Will David Amoo be available against Mansfield Town?
ByAndrew Georgeson, 11 JAN 2018
http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/sport/injury-update-david-amoo-available-14139774

David Amoo and Paul Lewis are set to return against Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two this weekend.

Amoo was substituted just before half time against Colchester United on new year's day, leaving the pitch clutching his hamstring after starting consecutive games for the first time in his Cambridge United career.

The week off has helped the former Partick Thistle man as well as Paul Lewis, who has not featured since Newport County with a knee problem, and head coach Shaun Derry confirmed both could feature.

"Dave Amoo came off just before half time [against Colchester] and he’s found himself back on the training ground on Tuesday so we’re hopeful that he can be, once again, available for the weekend," Derry said.

"One or two other little knocks we’ve had are still lingering.

"Paul had a little problem. Again he’s missed a bit of time this season and has been in and out the group at certain stages but to get Paul back on the training field like we did on Tuesday is a big bonus for him as well."

One player who will definitely miss out though is Piero Mingoia. The wide-man hasn't been involved in a match day squad since being an unused substitute away at Notts County on December 23.

And Derry confirmed that a groin problem will keep him sidelined again.

"Piero is still struggling, he’s got a little bit of inflammation around the groin areas so he needs to be careful with that," he said.

"It kind of reared it’s ugly head at the end of last season and it’s done it a little bit earlier this year so we need to be a little bit careful with Piero."

Elsewhere, Jabo Ibehre will serve the final match of his three-game ban after being sent off against Crewe.

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MORE ON LEE FRECKLINGTON:


3pm Thursday 11 January 2018 Pete O'Rourke @SportsPeteO

Lincoln have held off late interest from Mansfield Town to sign Rotherham midfielder Lee Frecklington. #imps #rufc #rufc

6pm Wednesday 10 January 2018 Pete O'Rourke @SportsPeteO

Mansfield boss Steve Evans now trying to hijack Lincoln’s move for Rotherham midfielder Lee Frecklington. #imps #MTFC #rufc

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Lincoln City Press Conference, Thursday 11 January 2018 :

Danny Cowley: "there was a very good offer from another League Two club later yesterday. We thought that might affect things. But Lee woke up this morning and his heart's with Lincoln.
He's put his football before finance and he could have earned significantly more money at another club. But he chose to come home."

Lee Frecklington: "I've moved back to the City, my family is from here, my partner's family are from here, my kids go to school in Lincoln and it was the perfect opportunity. If I was going to go somewhere outside of Rotherham then this is the place I wanted to be."

https://www.facebook.com/bbclincolnshiresport/videos/1791771047523070/

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Frecklington deal "made sense for all parties."
By David Beddows | 11/01/2018
http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/sport/view,frecklington-deal-made-sense-for-all-parties_25213.htm

ROTHERHAM United skipper Lee Frecklington has ended his long stay at the AESSEAL New York Stadium by signing for Lincoln City.

And, says the Millers chief Paul Warne, the deal "made sense for all parties."

The 32-year-old, out of contract this summer, has moved to secure his longer-term future by rejoining his home-town club for an undisclosed fee.

It is understood that the Imps beat Steve Evans' Mansfield Town to the signature of the player who was one of the driving forces behind Rotherham's back-to-back promotions in 2013 and 2014 and has remained a significant figure since.

Millers chief Paul Warne said: "Lee was in the the final year of his contract. He lives in Lincoln and it really pulled at his heartstrings.

"Ever since I've been here second time around, most of the good moments we have had, he has been part of. He will go down in folklore here.

"He moves on now and goes to his home town club which is a good move for him with two young children. Everyone here wishes him all the best.

"The situation arose and the money was offered. We weren't phoning clubs asking them to take him, but it was something that he and Lincoln really wanted to do so it made sense in the end for all parties.

"Football goes on. It is our task now to sign the next Lee Frecklington who will be here for three, four, five years in our midfield. He has had a big part to play in this club's success and he goes with our best wishes."

Frecklington, an Advertiser columnist, made 170 appearances for the Millers in all competitions, scoring 30 goals, after initially being brought in on loan from Peterborough by Evans in October 2012.

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Forget sentiment, returning Lee Frecklington has seen Lincoln City's huge ambition and potential
The midfielder has no intention of remaining in League Two
By Mark Whiley, 11 JAN 2018
http://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/sport/other-sport/forget-sentiment-returning-lee-frecklington-1044751

Lincoln City reporter Mark Whiley reflects on the return to the Imps of Lee Frecklington .

Putting the sentimentality of Lee Frecklington’s return to Lincoln City to one side, his arrival is a significant sign of intent by the Imps and manager Danny Cowley.

The emotional pull of coming back to his hometown clearly helped persuade Frecklington to swap a League One challenge for a League Two one.

But there is much more to it than that. Frecklington can clearly see the Imps are going places under Cowley.

The club is in a strong position financially and on the pitch while crowds have reached levels none of could have ever imagined.

Having recently returned to live in the city, Frecklington could see and hear the club being reborn - and he wanted to be a part of it.

The midfielder has gone on to have a fine career since leaving during Peter Jackson’s eventful, if ultimately under-whelming tenure in 2009.

He has graced the Championship with both Peterborough United and Rotherham United and has been the player of the Millers’ League One campaign so far.

Frecklington is ambitious, of that there is no doubt, and he hasn’t joined the Imps with the intention of ending his career in League Two.

When he left Peterborough in 2012, he dropped back down to League Two with Rotherham. He didn’t want to return to the fourth tier but he could see the Millers’ ambition - new stadium and all - and knew they wouldn’t be in the division for long.

He was proved right as the South Yorkshire side secured back-to-back promotions to the Championship - and he has rejoined the Imps intent on doing the same.

Understandably, Rotherham were not keen to let their talisman go midway through what they hope will be a promotion-winning campaign.

Millers boss Paul Warne could have made him wait until his contract expired in the summer.

But the service Frecklington has given the club meant he deserved to move on at the time of his choosing, although Rotherham fans will probably disagree.

It means Lincoln will have a Championship-quality player in their ranks for the final 20 league games.

It is a signing which could be key as the Imps aim to secure back-to-back promotions of their own.

It could also help the Imps in their quest to sign players of similar calibre. The reason January signings have been in short supply so far is down to the quality of players Cowley is targeting.

The Imps boss could also have beefed up his squad with mediocre League Two players but that won’t help the club win promotion.

And performances like we saw at Rochdale in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday re-enforced why Cowley can afford to be patient.

Following the departures of Sean Raggett and Rob Dickie, Michael Bostwick has dropped back from midfield to partner Luke Waterfall in the heart of defence.

That leaves a gap in midfield alongside Alex Woodyard which Frecklington could comfortably fill.

But Cowley, who is set to sign at least one centre-back this month, has hinted he would like to reunite Bostwick and Woodyard in midfield, given the excellent partnership they have forged over the first half of the season.

So could we see Bostwick, Woodyard and Frecklington in the same midfield?

It’s not out of the question if Cowley opts to switch formation - Bostwick and Woodyard in midfield holding, with Frecklington getting forward to support either Matt Rhead or Matt Green and Danny Rowe and Harry Anderson raiding down the flanks.

Frecklington’s ability and experience gives Cowley that flexibility.

A season of such great promise has just taken another giant step in the right direction.

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