The Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley claimed his non-league side’s historic FA Cup victory against Ipswich Town struck a blow for working-class fans.
Cowley’s National League side defeated Ipswich Town 1-0 in their third-round replay with a superb goal in stoppage time from Nathan Arnold.
Cowley said: “I watched a couple of documentaries that I’d seen before but I watched again because I knew I would be asked a lot of questions about him and I wanted to remind myself of what he’d done.
“He had a brilliant season here in 75-76 and what he then went on to do at Watford was remarkable. What he achieved in his career – to go from Lincoln City to England manager – was remarkable.” The Lincoln manager believes his side’s success will help restore the faith of fans in the footballers they pay to watch. “I am massively proud,” he said.
“There are some people at the top of the game unfortunately engulfed by money and not always good role models for the game we all love. It is nice when you see a group of people work hard and get a result they deserve. This result is for the people.
“It frightens me really – football and the money it has. It frightens me that football is going to get so far detached from reality that people are going to fall out of love with it. The great thing at this level and why I enjoy this level so much is you still have a connection with the people.Football is about the emotion and what it does to people. You saw what it meant to the people when we were walking around at the end, you can see on the people’s faces what it meant to them and that inspires me to keep working hard.”
Cowley and his brother and assistant manager Nicky, who also left a teaching job to enter full-time football, has led the Red Imps two points clear at the top of the National League on top of their FA Cup heroics, beating Oldham Athletic of League One in the second round before pulling off Tuesday night’s upset to set up a fourth-round tie with Brighton and Hove Albion.
“The way they’ve worked day in, day out is incredible,” Cowley said. “You can have great days like this if you put so much work in like we have done. I thought we competed really well and worked every minute so hard. We pressed from the front and actually thought we had a great control in the game even against a Championship side like Ipswich.
“ It’s a great night and an amazing feeling for the club. We need to continue this moment. I’ll let the boys enjoy it but we’ve now got to turn to Dover on Saturday. It’s great for the club.
“For me it’s not about money. It’s about moments like this and putting smiles on people’s faces. That has been the great thing about this journey we’re on.”