Linnets boss has a spring in his step

Aaron Jones tries to get on the end of a cross at the back post - Credit: Ian Burt

Aaron Jones was dropped in midweek but showed the right attitude for Lynn boss Tommy Widdrington - Credit: Ian Burt

Tommy Widdrington believes he is close to his King’s Lynn Town blue-print. 

The Linnets boss left Barnet in midweek with a point after a goalless draw – and a performance he believes was as close to his plans as his team have been since arriving in December. 

It was the 10th game of the Widdrington era and moved Lynn to 16 points. Half of those points have come in Widdrington’s games, the other half in predecessor Ian Culverhouse’s 17 matches in charge this season. That’s 0.8 points per game for Widdrington compared to 0.47 for Culverhouse.  

Had Widdrington’s PPG been in place all season, Lynn would be on 21.6 points – still in the bottom three, but with a stronger fighting chance than they currently have. 

Ifs, buts and maybes, but there is some statistical proof in there that Widdrington has changed things around - whether it will be enough to stave off relegation is another matter.  

Tommy Widdrington gives the King's Lynn Town fans a thumbs up at full-time against Weymouth

Tommy Widdrington says he has been buoyed by the midweek performance at Barnet - Credit: Ian Burt

A win over Maidenhead today would give Lynn their first ‘double of the season’ - the 3-2 win at Maidenhead on October was one of only two wins under Culverhouse – and Widdrington admits he has been boosted by the performance at Barnet. 

“I hope the confidence gained from the all-round performance on Tuesday night, both in possession and out of possession for a lot of the game, we can carry that on in the future because it is as good a structure as I have seen from us as a team since I have been at the club,” he said. 

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“And we didn’t score a goal. The problem sometimes is people are blinded by a result. We won against Weymouth here 3-0 and I was delighted with the way we played; however, a couple of bits of magic individually win you that game. 

“On Tuesday night had we won, it was a plan, a method and an outcome, and I saw that numerously repeated, particularly the first half. Barnet had their spells, don’t get me wrong and Jonesie (Paul Jones) made a couple of great saves, but the chances we created and the way they were created were exactly how we’d planned to do it and that tells me that they do listen, they are coachable and they are getting better. 

“That has buoyed me with a bit more confidence going forward.” 

Widdrington made a couple of big calls in his selection, with skipper Michael Clunan and right back Aaron Jones on the bench. But he praised both players’ attitude to being dropped. 

"I really don’t give a monkey’s about who it is, how they look – what I need is a round peg in a round hole and to a man so far I haven’t seen anybody moaning and whingeing. If they are not disappointed not to play then I’d be disappointed. 

King's Lynn Town skipper Michael Clunan on the ball - Credit: Ian Burt

Linnets skipper Michael Clunan - Credit: Ian Burt

“But those two showed exactly the kind if reaction I would want as a manager because I had a chat with Michael. He wasn’t available to me Saturday (illness) and to be available on the Tuesday is a really quick turnaround. So I sat with him and told him, ‘I am not going to start you but tell me, could you go on after a minute?’ And without hesitation he said ‘yes’. That tells me he is involved in the 16. It was a cautionary thing from my point of view looking after him physically, but him being him wants to play every minute because he’s the captain of the club and that’s brilliant. 

“Jonah as well, he has taken it on the chin. He has had a great run on the team, he has done really, really well for me. Jak (Hickman) has got a slightly different skill set. Do I like Jak more than I like AJ? No, not particularly. AJ will play football for us between now and the end of the season without a shadow of a doubt. Will they play in the same team? Yes, on occasions. But one of them is going to be disappointed usually over the other one if we played the way we played on Tuesday.” 

Widdrington plays his selection cards close to his chest, but has Zain Walker available again after Covid,  although Kyle Callan-McFadden’s back problem refuses to go away and he looks doubtful for this afternoon. 

Defender Baris Altintop yesterday joined Leiston on a one-month loan although there is no movement away from the club for out-of-favour first-team squad players.