Ex-Norwich midfielder enjoys resurgence at Lincoln
The Lincoln League 1 promotion hopefuls head to Ipswich tonight with a Norwich City academy product reborn in their ranks, having been named to the division’s Team of the Week.
Scottish midfielder Conor McGrandles joined Norwich in August 2014, join for an undisclosed price what Falkirk said was a record club sale for them, reported as a deal worth up to £ 1million.
He had broken through at the age of 17 and made 70 Scottish Championship appearances as a teenager and followed Gary Holt to Norfolk, after the former Canaries midfielder left his managerial role to become the assistant to Neil Adams.
McGrandles made his City debut when he came on with 14 minutes remaining of a 6-1 home win over Millwall on Boxing Day and was an unused substitute for three other league games, but the majority of 2014 -15 was like a regular below level 21.
He was not involved at senior level after Alex Neil inspired promotion to the Premier League and returned to Falkirk on loan, only to suffer a double break in his fifth appearance.
The Scotsman returned to U21 action in the second half of 2016-17, but the one-year option in his contract was not activated that summer.
He scored four goals in 91 games for League One team MK Dons over the next three seasons, helping them bounce straight back to League One in 2019.
Lincoln signed the former Canaries prospect last summer and so far he has scored five goals in 34 games, including five in his 11 appearances since returning to action in January after a month of absence on injury.
His last stroke, a curling strike from the edge of the box in a 3-0 home win over Crewe on Saturday, allowed the third-placed Imps to recover from a back-to-back loss to stay two points behind leaders Hull.
This saw McGrandles named to League One’s Team of the Week, after a performance rated 8.1 out of 10 by WhoScored.com, and tonight Lincoln is in action at Portman Road as Ipswich tries to keep his play-off hopes alive and secure the first victory in the reign of new manager Paul Cook.
Imps boss Michael Appleton spoke about McGrandles’ form, addressing the Lincolnshire Echo after Saturday’s win, saying: “It’s not just his goals, it’s his performance as a whole, defending in his own area, attacking in the opposition area. “