King’s Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell’s keeping cool as the Evo-Stik title race hots up
- Credit: IAN BURT
Gary Setchell is remaining composed as the heat of the Evo-Stik Division One South title race threatens to reach boiling point.
The King's Lynn Town boss has seen his team relentlessly claw back a 17-point deficit to turn their play-off hopes into a serious championship challenge. But long-term league leaders Coalville Town, and the Linnets, have dropped points in recent weeks to ensure neither side has stayed in total control of their destiny for long.
After Tuesday's 0-0 draw between the league's top two, Coalville sit one point ahead of Setchell's men with just four games left. The Ravens visit struggling Newcastle Town today while Lynn welcome Sutton Coldfield Town – who sit in the last remaining play-off place.
However, The Walks club's manager insists he is remaining as cool as he can – even managing to crack jokes about his team's eventful 3-1 defeat in November's reverse fixture against the Royals.
Setchell said: 'I think the gasket would blow if the game was like it was before! But honestly, I'm enjoying the experience of it all, no question about that. We've had big games this season to stand the players in good stead.
'We are under pressure I suppose but we're so far ahead of where we thought we would be, and other people thought we would be. We're only under pressure really because of the pressure we put on ourselves as a club.
'We've had a fantastic season and we still believe we can win it. We've won one in four, so it's going to be a mammoth ask to win the last four matches. They (Coalville) have won one in 11 so it's going to be hard for them to win the last four too. We might only have to win three and it's a long shot to win all four – but we'll be doing all we can to do that. We just really need to concentrate on our own matches as I believe, putting my head on the block, if we win all four games we'll win the league.'
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Lynn's trip to Sutton Coldfield in November was one to remember, for the wrong reasons, on a night which saw Setchell men's 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end with a thump.
The match included four penalties, three of which were scored by Coldfield's left-back Louis Keenan, and three red cards – two of which went to the Linnets' Phil Gulliver and Richard Bunting.
The Midlanders arrive in Norfolk three points ahead of Chasetown, sixth, and seventh-placed Halesowen Town. If the table stays the same until the end of the season, Lynn, second, will entertain Coldfield again in a home play-off semi-final.
'It is a massive one today. These teams are probably the worst teams to be playing,' said Setchell.
'Halesowen, Chasetown, Stamford, Sutton Coldfield. They've really got plenty to play for. There are a lot of sides who are really just playing dead rubbers and we are playing teams who are fighting for places.
'As we are, if the league finished now, today is a dress rehearsal for the play-offs so we know how difficult it's going to be. We sold ourselves a bit short on Saturday (Halesowen) but we were very good on Tuesday, definitely in terms of work rate and defensively, so we'll be looking to keep up the pressure on Coalville.'
Bar injured captain Bunting, Setchell has a full squad to chose from.
- For updates from today's game, click on the related link on the right-hand side of this page and follow Gavin Caney on Twitter.