Danny Cowley has told his new signings that there is “nothing like a Lincolnshire Derby” ahead of Lincoln’s clash with Grimsby Town this weekend.
The Imps boss welcomed a trio of signings in Cian Bolger, James Brown and Danny Rowe in his press conference on Thursday following their arrival from Fleetwood, Milwall and Ipswich respectively.
The trio could make their debuts against Michael Jolley’s Grimsby side this Saturday as City look to add to their lead at the top of the SkyBet League Two table.
“We have a lot of lads in the dressing room who will be used to playing in big derby games, people like Jason Shackell against Nottingham Forest for Derby," Danny said.
“Some of the other boys have played big games but there is nothing like a Lincolnshire Derby in terms of atmosphere and intensity. The whole group is looking forward to it and the new boys have been told about it.”
Cian Bolger was the first signing announced on Thursday, as the defender joined on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Fleetwood Town.
“I am delighted to have him with us, he has done fantastically well at Fleetwood. He was one of the best centre backs in League One last season has certainly played his part before by winning promotion," he added.
“It was a surprise that he was made available to us, this is a good club for him to join. Last summer he had interest from Hull City and Millwall.
"We did enquire about him in the summer but a lot has happened since then and we are pleased to get him in now.”
The centre back has arrived at Sincil Bank has previous experience winning promotion to Sky Bet League One with Southend in 2015, and finishing in the Sky Bet League One play-offs with Fleetwood Town.
“We are delighted to have him with us and it adds competition in that area. It also gives us flexibility to move Michael Bostwick forward,” explained the Imps boss.
“We have him on a two-and-a-half-year deal and he is physically excellent, he is six foot five and a real front foot defender.
"He is brilliant in the air and very good in both boxes, he will be a real attacking threat for us, especially with the success we have had.
“He has lived it, a big thing for us is that he is a top defender in League One. When you look at the 24 clubs in League One, the 48 regular starters he is right up there in the top 10 centre backs at that level.
“He has won promotion before and knows what is required at the business end of the season, he has the experience to cope and it will be a great game for him to be involved in.”
Cowley soon shifted his attention to full-back Brown who has joined the club on loan from Millwall after a period with Livingston in Scotland at the beginning of the season.
City's boss spoke highly of the Millwall U23 captain describing him as an old fashioned right back. Brown featured for Carlisle United 28 times in the league during the 2017/18 season.
“He has been right in and around the squad at Millwall, being an unused sub 10 to 15 times this season.
“We have a really good relationship with Neil Harris, he has done us a real favor by not using him.
"He knows that for his development he needs to go out and play regularly. We have a lot of respect for Neil and James is a great addition at right back,” said Cowley.
“What we like about James is his character, he has come through at Millwall and you need to be durable to do that.
“He is a really good one on one defender and he is an old fashioned right back, there isn’t many of them and they are a niche in the market. We are really pleased that we will now have him until the end of the season.”
The hat-trick of signings on Thursday was complete at tea time when Danny Rowe joined on loan until the end of the season.
The former Bolton Wanderers youngster is a familiar face to Lincoln fans having joined the club this time last year on loan from parent club Ipswich.
The winger played a total of 12 league games for the Imps last season, scoring once against Exeter in the league. Rowe also got on the scoresheet against Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Cowley was pleased to bring the 26-year-old back to Sincil Bank saying: “We love Danny Rowe.
"Last January we picked him up, we worked really hard to get him match fit and he worked really hard to get us to the Checkatrade Trophy final.
“We tried to get him in over the summer and it wasn’t possible. However, we have managed to do that this time round.
"We are thankful to Ipswich as we worked really hard to make this happen, we were up until the middle of the night to get this one over the line.
“He has the ability and quality to light Sincil Bank up with his quickness and power. He can play in the number seven, 11 and 10 roles. Dan is a Championship player, he has the quality and he can be the difference in games for us.
“We would really like for Dan to help us get promoted and if he does then we may be in the position to make the move a more permanent one. We know where we are going and we know where Dan wants to be going.”
All three are available for Saturday's sold-out Lincolnshire Derby, while all three will be back in the North-West next weekend for the trip to Bury. Tickets are available through Bury's online system.