Time to get brutal - Linnets boss

Kyle Callan-McFadden of King's Lynn Town

Kyle Callan-McFadden giving everything for the cause, as always - Credit: Ian Burt

Tommy Widdrington defends his 100pc home record on Saturday as King’s Lynn Town begin a “brutal” spell of games. 

Woking head to The Walks before the rearranged clash against Notts County on Tuesday and then the FA Trophy trip to Tonbridge in a week’s time. 

The good news for the Lynn boss is that players are steadily returning to the fold – only Kyle Callan-McFadden, Tyler Denton and Arthur Iontton remain sidelined by injury – while the squad has remained Covid-free. 

“I have got to give the lads a pat on the back,” said Widdrington. “For all these big clubs that seem to be riddled with Covid and getting games called off left, right and centre, they have been superb in their efforts to stay clear of it, which is difficult. From that point of view I am really delighted with the lads sticking to their guns with that and hopefully long may it continue. 

“We haven’t had any additionals – the lads who had it have all come back to train so as of yet we are good to go.” 

Tyler Denton cuts a dejected figure at full-time at King's Lynn Town

Tyler Denton - closing in on a return - Credit: Ian Burt

Denton (knee) is expected to rejoin training next week and could even be in contention for the trip to Southend on January 21 while Callan-McFadden (knee) is perhaps a week behind his team-mate. 

“I had a good long chat with Kyle on my own yesterday and I think - and this isn’t a slant at anybody before me in any department - he has probably played too early and returned to training too much, he should have been managed a little bit more. The kind of lad he is he wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s a warrior but I think now at his age he realises he was part of it, making a decision to come back too early. But he isn’t a million miles away – he might be a week or so behind Tyler.” 

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Getting players back will be a relief for Widdrington who now faces a busy spell of games that never actually materialised when he first stepped through the door a month ago. 

“The schedule we thought we were going to have early on has just been knocked back a little bit, obviously with the postponement of the Notts County and Grimsby games,” he said. 

“Both have been reassigned to dates probably earlier than I thought they were going to be. And I understand the league and the need to fill as quickly as they can the Tuesdays that aren’t filled yet because going forward we don’t know if there are going to be more games called off because of the weather, so from that point of view I get the need and the want for all clubs to get the games in quickly, but it has just moved the very brutal period at Christmas to a brutal period in January.” 

Widdrington has had four games in charge – a home win over bottom side Dover and an FA Trophy victory over Nantwich, and defeats at Halifax and Chesterfield, the teams who are leading the battle for promotion. It’s those two away performances which have firmed up his belief that Lynn are a better team than the table suggests. 

“Anybody who has watched us in the four games I have been here I’d like to think can see a pattern to what is happening," he said. "I definitely think we are a more solid group as a collective, because we haven’t got any more solid individuals, they are the same guys, but the team look harder to beat. People will argue that we are not scoring enough goals – well, we weren’t scoring goals before. At least we’re not shipping a load of goals in. We just have to get the blend right. 

“People who have been programmed to play in a certain way for a certain period of time, it takes a long time to re-program. I don’t want to re-program the whole lot because a lot of it is good. They are a technically proficient group of players, they just need to become a little more street-wise – a bit more Kyle McFadden if you like. If we had three or four more of them in the team with the mentality he’s got I could see the group being really strong.” 

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