Caretaker boss Kevin Russell backed new Cheltenham manager Darrell Clarke to take on the challenge of turning their season around at full tilt.
Clarke watched from the stands at Sincil Bank as a first-half double from Lasse Sorensen earned Lincoln a comfortable 2-0 win.
It means the Robins have failed to score in their first 10 league games of the season – a new EFL record – and have taken just one point, leaving them rooted to the foot of the table behind Tuesday’s opponents Fleetwood Town.
Clarke will have just one day to work with the players before that already crucial looking game, but Russell says the former Bristol Rovers, Walsall and Port Vale boss will be up for the fight.
“The manager will have his own philosophy and how he wants to do things,” Russell said.
“He has some experienced boys in there he can tap into and he’s an experienced manager for this level, so hopefully he can find the formula.
“But it’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be tough.
“The position we’re in isn’t great so it’s going to be a battle, but speaking to him earlier, it looks like he’s relishing the challenge so hopefully he can get what’s desired out of the players.”
Danish wing-back Sorensen struck after five minutes to put the Imps in front after Ted Bishop’s pass.
His second arrived in the 21st minute after Aidan Keena lost possession for Cheltenham, allowing Reeco Hackett to supply Sorensen, who beat Luke Southwood with another low finish.
Hackett was close to adding a third two minutes later, curling a shot just past the post with Southwood at full stretch.
Hakeeb Adelakun saw a shot blocked in the box by Lewis Freestone as Lincoln dominated proceedings.
Adelakun had the ball in the net in the 66th minute, but the offside flag was raised and it was ruled out.
Lincoln boss Mark Kennedy insisted the afternoon’s work from his 10th-placed team was not as straightforward as it may have appeared.
“I was never really comfortable on the side, however it looked,” Kennedy said.
“We played really well until Cheltenham changed their shape in the first half and after that, it knocked us and we didn’t recover from that.
“But we’d arguably done enough and I kept thinking to myself ‘it’s a big ask for anyone to score three goals against us here’, which gave us the confidence with how we are.
“But it was a really tough game, so credit to Cheltenham and thankfully we had a strong lead.”