Arsene Wenger spent 90 minutes after Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Lincoln talking in his office with the non-leaguers’ managerial duo the Cowley brothers – “something we will cherish forever” says Imps chief Danny.
Wenger’s men ended a horror week with a 5-0 win over the National League outfit to secure an FA Cup semi-final spot, but pressure continues to grow on the long-time Gunners boss.
Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the season and while a new two-year deal is on the table, he is yet to sign. Nevertheless, at 67 he has little intention of retiring.
And the Cowley duo cannot speak highly enough of the Gunners chief, whose enthusiasm they say remains undimed.
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“We had about an hour and a half with Arsene Wenger after the game and that will be invaluable, something we will cherish forever,” said Danny, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The fact that he was willing to give us an hour, an hour and a half of his time after probably the week he’s had says everything about that man.
“He still spoke really passionately, still has a real affection for the game and when you consider the amount of criticism he has had recently – the fact he still loves the game and talks with such enthusiasm was brilliant.
“He said that after the results they’ve had he needed to instil confidence back into the group and that was the reason why he picked such a strong team.”
“I asked lots of questions,” continued Nicky. “After an hour and a half I’m sure they’d had enough. It was really insightful, a fantastic experience.
Despite Lincoln’s defeat, the Cowley brothers – who have overseen their stunning run to the last eight – now have their eyes on promotion, and met their players on the pitch immediately after the game to ensure that the non-leaguers took pride in their cup run.
“We had a huddle directly after the game on the pitch,” added Danny.
“I know the boys were disappointed with how the second half had gone and it was just important to give them a little bit of reality and I just wanted to make sure that they savoured the moment and celebrated the journey we’d been on because getting a non-league team to the last eight of FA Cup is something special.
“We’ve changed history with this cup run. We now need to change history and use this game to inspire us with what’s to come for the rest of the season.”