King’s Lynn boss Setchell lays down challenge

King's Lynn joint boss Gary Setchell is challenging the club's emerging talent to use today's UCL League Cup tie against Irchester to stake a first-team claim.

Town are still going strong on four fronts but Lynn's key men are poised for some much-needed rest after recent gruelling league and cup exploits.

'If you are talking about winning trophies, then this competition is not a priority,' he said. 'What it is, is a marvellous opportunity to get minutes into lads who haven't played, to give some of our other players a rest, and to give one or two of our young players a chance to impress.

'It's valuable experience for them to play in front of a crowd at The Walks for the first team. The result isn't the be all and end all, but we are trying to win the game – which then means we go to St Neots in the quarter-finals.

'Arsenal have long used the Carling Cup to play their youngsters and fringe players and no-one has a problem with that. We have five lads off with the county squad so it will be a mix and match approach. I suspect Matty Hails will play in goal to give Pedro (Alex Street) a rest. Jack (Defty) will probably not feature, or the Thurlbournes. It's common sense. We are not trying to kid anyone on.'

Steve Spriggs (flu) and Chris Bacon (knee) miss out but Jamie Alsop returns after a recent foot injury. Danny Buhlemann has shaken off a knee problem but Setchell admitted skipper Defty is still managing a hip injury. 'Jack is in a lot of pain with his hip. His movement is fine but it's a bit of a head scratcher because there is definitely something troubling him. He might sit out this game and come back for Tuesday. At the minute it's not alarming but if he gets a reaction then he'll have to get it seen to.

'Bacs has some knee trouble and we're looking at about two weeks. Spriggsy has had a relapse and is back on the antiobiotics. He probably rushed back too soon and worked himself into the ground against St Neots last weekend because he wasn't right the other night.'

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Town's management have targeted reinforcements to bolster the club's league and cups push – but Wisbech midfielder Callum Reed yesterday rejected a potential switch to The Walks. Lynn had made a seven-day approach but Fenmen boss Steve Appleby had publicly vowed to hold onto his young prospect.

'Callum has indicated he wants to stay at Wisbech so we wish him all the best,' confirmed fellow joint boss Kevin Boon. 'He was a player we had looked at over Christmas and he had played well and we were aware of him anyway because he played with Ross Watson at Stamford so we had done a little bit of homework.

'Apps was obviously keen to keep the player and we respect that. We are still looking for players that can come in but, as we've said all along, they have to be better than what we feel we have at the club.'

Appleby admitted he is delighted to have kept one of his key players this season.

'Callum has agreed with me over the phone that he's going to stay but we've got a couple of things to iron out face to face tomorrow,' he said. 'I had a chat to Boony today and he said he'd spoken to Callum who told him he was not going to join them.

'At this stage things are looking very promising and I'm absolutely delighted that it seems like he's turned Lynn down and wants to stay with us.'

Boon revealed Town have now launched another seven-day approach for a potential new recruit.