Howell signs on as Imps prepare for Vale visit

Lincoln City Football Club return to Sincil Bank this weekend, hoping to improve on their recent winning streak.

The Imps come into the tie in good form after picking up back to back wins away from home to lift themselves away from the League Two relegation Zone.

City will be confident of adding a third scalp to the list, when they face fifth placed Port Vale who are in the midst of a poor run of form. The Valiants have seen their promotion push falter in recent weeks after the departure of their popular former manager, Micky Adams, to Championship side Sheffield United with new boss Jim Gannon struggling to make an impact.

The Staffordshire outfit have lost an alarming six times in their last eight League Two games and face turmoil off the pitch as fans continue to protest about the running of the club.

Lincoln are likely to once again be without the services of influential winger Mustapha Carayol, as he continues to recover from a groin strain. The Imps flyer was forced to sit out Tuesday night’s victory at Cheltenham Town after picking up the injury in the previous encounter with Stockport County.

Scans have revealed that there is no tear in the muscle, and manager Steve Tilson confirmed in this week’s press conference that he was hopeful that Carayol would be fit to start training again next week.

Clark Keltie will also be absent for Vale’s visit, as he continues to recover from a thigh injury that will keep him out for another two weeks at least and on-loan full back Gavin Hoyte is rated as doubtful for this weekend’s clash.

One player who will hope to be involved this weekend however is Luke Howell. The talented midfielder has put pen to paper on a permanent contract with City until the end of the season, following his release from MK Dons.

Howell has been a pivotal part of the Imps side this season, making ten appearances since joining the club on an initial loan spell in October and adding some much needed quality to the midfield. He will be able to make his debut as permanent Lincoln player tomorrow, providing that the necessary paper work goes through in time and will retain the number 15 shirt.

Lincoln manager, Steve Tilson, was clearly delighted to get his man after a long pursuit for the former Dons star. He told the club’s official website:

“Luke is a good lad, with a good attitude and a good work ethic,” he said. “He is the type of player that I want to bring into this Football Club.”

Howell is the second player to come through the Sincil Banks doors this week after the earlier capture of towering Congolese centre back, Patrick Kanyuka, who has also arrived on a free transfer after leaving CFR Cluj in Romania.

Imps fans will have to wait a little longer to see Kanyuka in action as the club continues to wait for international clearance to rubber stamp the deal.

More arrivals are expected at Sincil Bank before the transfer window slams shut on Monday evening as Steve Tilson still actively looks to strengthen his squad. Cian Hughton, Joe Anderson and Paul Green however look set to leave the club on loan deals as all three players seek regular first team football.

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