Billy Knott and his importance to Lincoln City

Since his arrival at Sincil Bank, Billy Knott has divided opinions.

When the club announced the signing of the midfielder, I, as a fan, was very excited. I became aware of Billy Knott’s ability through the integral part he played for Bradford City when they beat both Chelsea and Sunderland, which is why I was so enthused by the signing.

Billy Knott spent his early footballing career within the Chelsea and Sunderland youth set-ups. During that time, Knott also had loan spells at AFC Wimbledon, Woking, Port Vale and Wycombe.

He had a very successful time at Adams Park which is why Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth extended the midfielders loan a further two times.

This is Gareth Ainsworth in 2013, after Billy Knott’s debut:

“Billy Knott had an immense debut. His energy, passion and drive. On top of that he’s got Premier League quality in his left-foot.”

Billy Knott’s success at Wycombe contributed to him being able to sign for Bradford City. For me, the most successful period of Billy Knott’s career was at Bradford. Knott joined the Bantams in 2014, making 64 appearances scoring three goals. Knott made a name for himself when Bradford beat fierce rivals Leeds United in the League Cup. He smashed home an impressive volley which levelled the scoreline, and ultimately helped Bradford win the game.

I spoke to a life long Bradford City fan and this is what he had to say about the midfielder:

“I remember him being very tenacious and passionate on the field with good ball playing ability”

“He will always be remembered for his incredible volley to equalise against Leeds, a goal which in Bradford’s eyes will always be up there as one of the best in Bradford’s history.”

Knott’s goal against Leeds clearly is his standout moment in his career. This takes me back to last season, April 1st to be exact, Lincoln were at home to Bromley. Earlier that day Tranmere overtook the Imps at the top of the table, and those at Sincil Bank that day knew that Lincoln’s performance was sub standard at best but in stepped Billy Knott.

It only took one minute after being introduced into the game for Knott to make an impact. He expertly fired home into the bottom corner and Lincoln won the game 1-0. That goal was one of the most important the Imps scored last season and it only highlighted the ability of Billy Knott.

I believe that even Billy Knott himself would agree that he has even more to offer the Lincoln fans. I think this is the reason why Knott divides opinions because we know he has the talent.

This is why in my conversation with the Bradford supporter I asked: “Do you believe that Billy Knott is a confidence player?”

His response was simple. He said: “Yeah he is very much a confidence player. When he had a first team place secured he would play very well. But when he was out of form, he would be more mistake prone.”

A starting role in the Lincoln line-up is something Knott has never really been able to find. Competition is high at Lincoln, and now with the addition of Michael Bostwick it is going to be even harder for Knott to get substantial game time.

There is no doubting Knott’s energy, commitment and effort. For me, to see the best of Billy Knott in a Lincoln City shirt he needs to have a stretch of good performances to build his confidence.

We saw at Rotherham how much that goal meant to him, a step forward in answering his critics and I hope whenever he plays he can continue to do so.

Keep going Knotty, we are going to need you this season.


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