Gary Setchell: I’m in the firing line ahead of ‘must-win’ King’s Lynn Town fixture
Gary Setchell is ready to run the gauntlet as he prepares for one of the biggest games of his managerial career.
The former professional footballer has been in the dugout for many crucial fixtures during his periods in charge of Wisbech Town and King's Lynn Town. While many of them – especially at Lynn – have been pivotal with glory at stake, this evening's visit of Cambridge City arguably has even more riding on it on a personal level.
With new owner Stephen Cleeve publicly eyeing a promotion push, the Linnets' start to the Southern League Premier Division campaign has been embarrassing at best.
Poor results against St Neots and Banbury were followed by the news yesterday that John Sands has left the club to sign for Needham Market.
It represents Lynn's worst start since the days of the 'old' club back in 1998-99 and Setchell fully expects to be in the firing line if things go wrong again at The Walks this evening.
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'I better take my big old tin hat with me because the pressure is on,' said Lynn's manager.
'I know that, I'm not stupid. When you've been at a big club like Lynn for the time I have – we've had reasonable success and some ups and downs – this is tough. We've got two home games now, when you're under pressure it's hard to play at home.
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'Rest assured we'll have lads on the pitch who are proud to wear the badge, are going to run around and have plenty of quality. If we can get a result all of a sudden it's looking a little bit better. It's been a horrible week, probably my worst since I've been in the job (2010). We're under big pressure tonight and we've got to win, it's as simple as that.
'It's a big game for us. We're at home, it's a derby and the knives will be out because one point from three games is nowhere near acceptable, I understand that.
'This isn't the start the new chairman, who is working his socks off, wanted. It's not the one I wanted for him either.'
Setchell alluded to the fact that changes were coming after young half-time substitutes Liam Fryatt and Dylan Edge shone with their endeavour during Saturday's mauling. He was true to his word yesterday when the man Edge replaced, big-name striker Sands, was allowed to join Needham.
Setchell, who signed Sands – yet to score in three competitive appearances this term – in the summer after a prolific loan spell where he scored six goals in 10 appearances, said: 'It's a shame to lose John. He's struggled with his fitness having missed most of the pre-season campaign and it just wasn't working out for him.
'I wish Sandsy all the best with his career and thank him for his time and efforts at the football club.
'John was one of the top earners at the football club and with him leaving that's freed up some money. I'm already looking and making enquiries about other players to strengthen in other areas and hope to have a body in for the Cambridge game and another for the weekend following our difficult start to the season.'
Lynn will host either Brigg Town or Blaby & Whetstone Athletic in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday, September 3.