King’s Lynn boss Gary Setchell warns of FA Trophy pitfalls on promotion push
King's Lynn boss Gary Setchell admits his biggest task now is ensuring Town's thrilling FA Trophy run does not detract from the club's Evo-Stik Division One South promotion bid.
The Linnets' superb exploits in reaching the last 16 of the national cup competition have seen them lose ground on table-toppers Coalville and Setchell knows a gruelling festive period will test his squad to the limit.
'I am a little bit concerned because there is no question about it the FA Trophy run has affected our league form,' he said. 'Hucknall, without a shadow of a doubt, was evidence of that and the amount these games are taking out of the lads. Telford were used to playing at that Conference Premier tempo every week, but we had to go three gears above what we usually do to compete.
'We had players lying on the dressing room floor after the game. They were absolutely gone, They were dead. We'll bring them in once this week to train but you can't do too much with them. We have an incredibly tough Christmas. We have Sheffield this weekend, who were the best team we played so far even though the league position doesn't say that. We have Brigg Town away on Boxing Day, which is a massive game, then we go to Carlton, who are the form team, and Stamford at home. Then we have Lincoln and straight after that we are into the FA Trophy tie.'
Setchell lost experienced striker Jason Turner to Holbeach earlier this week, but the
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Linnets' boss knows he can count on backing from chairman Buster Chapman if he needs to bolster his squad for a push on multiple fronts in the New Year.
'The chairman has been different class. Every time I have gone to him he has pulled out all the stops. Never once has he said no - whether we had a cup run or not,' he said. 'We brought in (Shane) Tolley last week and that was a no brainer, the three I signed from Buckby in the summer have been superb and you could go right throughout the side. Pedro (Alex Street) has been brilliant since he came back in and they are putting pressure on me now when it comes to picking a side, but I am not scared of that.
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'I think we have the squad depth. We are through the bulk of the FA Trophy games now. I foolishly said there was nothing in it for us at the start of the competition, but the maximum now we have to play is four games. We have played 19 in the league as well so as long as we don't get a big cold snap, I think we'll be alright.'
Setchell has been in from the very start of the club's new era and the Lynn boss is urging Town's supporters to savour these good times.
'In three years we have got to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, the semi-final of the FA Vase and now the last 16 of the FA Trophy. It is untrue where the club has come from,' he said. 'It is literally a dream for everyone from the chairman and his family down.'