Linnets look to build on FA Cup heroics when they head to Sutton
- Credit: Gerard Austin
The glory of the FA Cup will be around for a while yet, but a week later it’s all about league points for King’s Lynn Town - CHRIS LAKEY looks at the talking points ahead of the trip to Sutton United
FA Cup replay
Ian Culverhouse wants his players to draw on their FA Cup heroics when they return to the bread and butter of National League action today.
Far from pushing the cup on to the back burner for a fortnight – the cliched response of many a manager – the Linnets boss wants a repeat performance of the first round win at Port Vale on the artificial pitch of Sutton United (who know a thing or two about Cup shocks themselves).
“We reached really high levels on Saturday performance-wise and load wise as well with the amount of running we had to do and we need to reproduce that because that is a level we can get to and we have got to really try and produce that week in and week out just to survive in this league because it is a real tough league.
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“The players were tired Monday morning – because of our new training schedule it was is good to get them here and get the lactic acid out of their legs and take care of them in recovery sessions, then today (Tuesday) we had a real good one with the, There was a good buzz about them, which there should be because they were tremendous on Saturday.”
Case for the defence
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Rory McAuley has come out flying after a one-game for a needless red card at Weymouth which arguably cost Lynn at least a point. He was imperious at Port Vale, alongside Danny Lupano, on loan from Hull City for a month.
“I think his leadership qualities really shone through, and Danny as well beside him,” said Culverhouse. “We knew what a threat Tom Pope was at the far post and both of them were exceptional on the day and then anything that did squeeze past the back four we had Archie (Mair) who I thought was exceptional - 19 years of age and he is going to be one hell of a goalkeeper.
“It was the whole team, not just the back four. I am pleased they got the clean sheet but I believe if we didn’t win the first contact we certainly made sure we did the second, because the distances between each unit were short and that helped us on the day.
“Danny is a good quality defender. We didn’t have a lot of the ball on Saturday and he had to dig in deep and defend and I think you saw his qualities there of being an out and out defender. I spoke to him today, just asking if he is enjoying it and he is loving it here so a conversation will take place in the next couple of weeks to see if we can extend it or see what their plans are with him.”
Lynn famously learned a lot from two notable defeats, at Guiseley and York, last season, both games sparking good unbeaten runs. Culverhouse has always said the early part of this season is about learning and after heavy losses to Solihull and Boreham Wood, there are positive signs – how they tackled higher league opposition, and then saw out the game after Sonny Carey’s 81st-minute winner.
“Our game management was really pleasing,” Culverhouse said. “After we scored our goal it was exceptional for a non-league side, a part-time team. We won fouls, we played in the right areas of the pitch, we used our bodies well as well to earn those fouls so that shows when you take it back a month when he we played Solihull and Boreham Wood that we had to learn quickly from those games. I think we showed we have learned very quickly.”
Adam Marriott missed virtually all of pre-season after picking up an ankle injury at Stowmarket in the opening summer game. He has started five league games, come off the bench twice and got three goals and at Port Vale he created the winner with some trademark trickery in the area, having been on the pitch for just 13 minutes. Full fitness is close for the Linnets goal machine.
“He’s getting there,” said the Lynn boss. “We have had to be careful because we have left him out for a couple of game and rested him up so we don’t flog him. I never thought on the day how many defenders were around him but the quality he has shown and the composure just to cut that one back – I think he was surrounded by three or four, and he was exceptional, but that is the quality he has got. I think he is one or two games away from being back at full fitness. The training we are doing at the moment helps as well because he has been in during the day as well so it all bodes well for him.”
Bumps and knocks
Simon Power, whose pace caused Port Vale so many problems, took a knock on the knee and is “touch and go”. Right-back Aaron Jones (knee) is probably a week away. Michael Gash remains a long-term absentee after illness. Striker Kairo Mitchell returns - he was cup tied last weekend.
Culverhouse will have to play clever: Sutton have an artificial surface, they’re fifth in the table and they should be fresh – they haven’t played for two and a half weeks.
“They are going to be fresh and obviously they train on their pitch daily so it is a real tough ask,” said Culverhouse. “I’ve watched a couple of their games and they are a really good side, with lots of running in them and they play to a certain style as well which, we have to combat.”