Grimes targets Imps survival
Ashley Grimes believes Lincoln owe it to Steve Tilson to maintain their Football League status.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 04/02/11 5:21pm
Ashley Grimes believes Lincoln owe it to manager Steve Tilson to maintain their Football League status this season.
Tilson took over from Chris Sutton in October with the Imps 20th in the table and, despite two successive wins in November, four straight defeats followed to leave them propping up League Two.
But Grimes scored a hat-trick as Lincoln stopped the rot with a 4-3 win at fellow strugglers Stockport last month, sparking a four-match winning streak that has sent them back up to 19th, six points clear of the bottom two.
Tilson gave Grimes a chance to impress, signing him on loan from Millwall shortly after his appointment, and the 24-year-old striker has responded with eight goals from 11 starts.
Last month Grimes extended that deal until the end of the season and he insists the Imps must remain in top form for the ex-Southend boss.
"The manager's been great to us," he told skysports.com. "The lads have realised we've got to start repaying him - and it's got to start now before it's too late.
"Thankfully we've managed to get four wins on the spin and we're in high spirits so we've got to keep it going.
"It started with the Stockport win and we've just carried it on from there. We had five games on them at the time and went two points behind them so it was a massive boost for us and a kick in the teeth for them."
Grimes followed up that hat-trick - the first of his career - with the only goal at home to promotion hopefuls Port Vale last Saturday, while Lincoln came from behind to win 2-1 at Bradford on Tuesday night.
And although the former Manchester City trainee is out of contract with Millwall in the summer, he insists he is focused solely on firing the Imps to safety.
"I managed to get the winner against Port Vale and we got a good result away at Bradford as well, so it's going great personally and for the team," he said.
"I've now signed for the season and I'm just glad to be playing football again, and scoring goals.
"I'm enjoying my time at Lincoln so we'll see where it takes us. I just want to help get this club up the table."
Lincoln and Hereford were in the bottom two after that Stockport game but the Bulls have also won their last four league matches, leaving the Hatters and Barnet in the relegation zone.
Lincoln visit Hereford on Saturday and, while an Imps win could send them into mid-table, a home victory would keep them in a relegation scrap.
"We're just taking one game at a time," Grimes added. "Hereford have been on a good run too so we know we'll have to keep playing well if we're going to pick up some more points and keep the run going."