Peter Gilbert grateful Imps have pulled him from wilderness
Peter Gilbert confessed to feeling "extremely hurt" at being ruthlessly discarded by Southend but hopes his move to Lincoln will ease his pain.
The former Sheffield Wednesday defender claimed the Shrimpers did a U-turn over a new contract in the summer forcing him onto the scrap heap.
Gilbert said Shrimpers boss Paul Sturrock had told the 29-year-old he would receive a new deal after helping the League Two side to the play-offs last term.
But two days before he was due to return to pre-season training, he was told the offer was no longer on the table.
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"I don't want to go into it too much, but the manager, who I worked with at previous clubs, rang me before pre-season was due to start just to explain what was happening," he said.
"He was sorry and told me the powers that be wanted to go a different way and that it was obviously a difficult situation.
"I was gutted because I wanted to build on what we had. We were in the top three for most of the season before losing to Crewe in the play-offs.
"I was a regular in the team too, but what can I say? You just have to dust yourself down and get on with it.
"It just goes to show that nobody should ever feel safe in football. It's a ruthless business and it hurts.
"You battle away through a long, tough, season in which we were one game away from playing Liverpool in the FA Cup, reached the semi-finals of the Johnstone Paint Trophy, but then you are not wanted.
"They want to go a different way, that's fine. I wish them all the best. But obviously leaving it so late meant finding a new club was difficult.
"I went to Dagenham where the manager said he would have loved to have signed me had he known I was available earlier.
"He had already spent his budget and that was the same for 90 per cent of the teams because they had already sorted the left-back position out.
"It was very tough summer, but I am here now thanks to the manager David Holdsworth.
"He's a good, honest, man. And I want to thank him for helping me. Now it's all about getting fitness and playing games, I'm looking forward to it."
Gilbert made a promising start to his Lincoln career having made his debut in the 2-1 defeat against Luton at the weekend.
With John Nutter still out injured, Gilbert look set for a lengthy stay in the side as Lincoln's tough run of fixtures continue with a trip to promotion-chasing Wrexham on Saturday.
On the back of a draw against Mansfield on Tuesday, Lincoln are in the relegation zone, but Gilbert has seen enough from the Imps to suggest it will only be a temporary stay.
"The team spirit in the dressing room is fantastic," he said.
"I have been at clubs where the bond is not as strong and you will find that those teams will drift away over the course of the season.
"But this bunch of lads fight so hard for one another and it's very impressive.
"I've got no concerns about the club's position because I know that with a spirit as strong as that we will climb away from there, no danger at all."