'I think it is a little insulting' - Lynn boss on forgetful 'critics'

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse - his philosophy remains the same - Credit: Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse says he feels insulted by suggestions his King’s Lynn Town team are playing good football just because the pressure of relegation has been taken away. 

The patched-up Linnets have left a trail of admirers as they battle on through to the end of the season which lost the core interest some time ago when football below National League level packed up and meant the ‘drop zone’ was no more. 

But while Culverhouse acknowledges the ‘free-hit’ feeling, it is clear he is less enamoured with the suggestion that Lynn have suddenly adopted a new footballing philosophy. 

“We are dragging people off the street at the moment just to come and play for us,” he said. “They have really bought into what we are trying to do here and how we play. 

“I think it is a little disrespectful – and I understand why they are saying it, because it is a free hit in a certain way – but we have been playing this way for three years. We haven’t just made it up just because we have a free hit - this is the way we are, this is our identity and this is how we try to play here so I think it is a little insulting in some ways. 

“This is the way we have been. Are we playing with a bit more freedom? Yes. Are we taking a bit more of a chance than possibly we would if there was relegation? Yes, possibly. But I would still ask them to play. I would never ask my goalkeeper to smash it up there. They have to recognise  when to do that. Chesterfield were aggressive in their press, but I still wanted us to play through them because that’s the type of players we have here. We have technical players who can play.  

Joe Gascoigne gets a well done from King's Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse

Talented teenager Joe Gascoigne gets a well done from King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse - Credit: Ian Burt

“Will they get beaten up at times when they make the wrong decision? Yes, they will do. And we will lose games. As long as they learn from making the wrong decision so when they come into that scenario again they don’t do that, then we are getting somewhere, then we can build.” 

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The current season continues on Saturday with the visit of Dagenham & Redbridge, the first of three homes games within the space of a week in what is becoming a lengthy pre-season for the Linnets.  

A summer re-build looms large, when the lessons learned will be implemented. 

"The recruitment has got to be right,” added Culverhouse. “There will be some changes here in the off-season so our recruitment has to be spot on, and it has been previously. We have got really good players at the football club who bought into what we try and do. Recruitment in the summer will be a real plus for us to move forward.” 

Culverhouse was diplomatic when asked which areas need strengthening – all off them, he said – but it is clear Lynn need to be more of a match physically. 

“You’ve seen how physical this league is and how big it is so we have got to get the right personnel who can handle the physicality of the league,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we are going to go out and get 6ft 10in players, but we are still going to have the identity of how play so they are going to be technically very, very good.” 

There’s a bigger picture too – bringing good players in to a good playing environment, making them better and then allowing them to move on, for the financial benefit of the club. 

Culverhouse said: “The environment here is a good one to come to because we let players play with freedom - we want them to progress, we want them to use this football club to go on to bigger things. That hunger to improve and move on is what we look for. Obviously we do background checks, but they have got to have that hunger, the hunger to say they want to make something of their career. 

“That is our selling platform - come in, you will get a chance to play, go and show people what you can do here and then move on in your career.” 

Culverhouse still has nine games remaining of a season that he wanted to see the end of long ago. 

“I was adamant we should not continue, but it was explained to me the circumstances if we didn’t and I understand that,” he said. 

“It has been hard. It has been a challenge, but a learning one for us.

"We will see out the season the best we can – the way we are doing it at the moment and some of the football we are playing is testament to the group we have out together."