'I don't care about anyone in the league. I care about us' - Linnets boss
PUBLISHED: 11:26 02 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:26 02 February 2020
Ian Burt Photography
Ian Culverhouse insists he doesn't care about the rest of the league as he picked over the remnants of King's Lynn Town's long unbeaten home run.
Lynn remain a point clear of York, who beat third-placed Chester 4-2, and have two games in hand, but could lose top spot next weekend when the Minstermen go to Boston United.
While they're doing that, Lynn have to wait until Monday night before they kick off at Gloucester City.
But the timing is of little consequence to the Linnets boss.
"I don't care about York, I really don't," he said. "I don't care about anyone in the league. I care about us. The next challenge for us is can we go to Gloucester and put in a performance?
"I don't worry about what other teams do, let them worry about us. I have seen lot of quotes about how we have a hard run-in and things like that - but everyone has a hard run-in.
"They are more worried about us than we are worried about them."
Culverhouse will be hoping his players have got a poor performance out of their system: frankly, no one was in much of a position to say they deserved better. They didn't.
It was first against fourth from bottom and it should have been a given, if there is such a thing in football.
It was exactly 17 months to the day since Lynn had last lost a league game at home. A run of 34 games. The bookies weren't offering much scope for profit.
Yet they fluffed their lines - and if you like a conspiracy theory, then here's one ... the last league winners at The Walks had been Stourbridge on September 1, 2018, a result which signalled the end of the Simon Clark managerial reign and set in train Culverhouse's return. The coach - the wheeled one, not the tracksuited one - that brought Kidderminster to The Walks on Saturday is actually Stourbridge's away day transport.
Perhaps doesn't pass muster as a genuine reason for Lynn's defeat, although to labour the point, the red-shirted occupants went on to park the bus on the pitch to ensure they preserved the safety of two first-half goals.
Both were preventable, Nathan Fox and Ryan Jarvis having an unhelpful hand in first and second respectively. In between there was a very legitimate handball claim which could and should have seen Lynn awarded a penalty, but by the time the half-time whistle arrived, it was fair to say Harriers deserved their lead.
A crowd of more than 1,600 expected fireworks in the second half, and they got them for a while, as Lynn went full steam ahead, but it was unplanned stuff and all a bit frenzied, most unlike the Linnets. It fizzled out, and so did Lynn's hopes of a win.
Culverhouse's assessment was rather more factual than conspiratorial.
"We were poor today," he said. "Credit to them they took their goals well, but I can't remember us having a shot at goal in the first half. We huffed and puffed in the second half and threw caution to the wind, but very poor and that is not like us. Hopefully it is a one-off and we will see how we respond to it.
"We moved the ball too slowly and they got their bodies behind the ball, which they were always going to do once they took the lead, and try and hit us on the counter, but we didn't have that buzz about us today where we can get down the sides of them and cross it. But their game plan stifled us and we have got to learn from it."
The post-match atmosphere was unusual given it was only the third league defeat of the season, but those in the dressing room tend to spend less time on the match inquest than those on the terraces.
"It is gone," he said. "If you win a game it is gone. All we can do is look forward to the next one and that is what we will do. We have 15 games to play and each one is a big game for us."
The hurt was evident in the dressing room - no booming music this time.
"It is a quiet dressing room," said Culverhouse. "They don't need me standing in front of them hollering at them. They have been fantastic - we just lost a game of football in how many? And now the character has to show and the character in that dressing room is big, and we will respond."
There will be positives in defeat: it might just temper those who brazenly profess the Linnets will win the league - a task the manager himself said would be "monumental".
And for those who wonder how Lynn respond to defeat... they went unbeaten in 10 games after the opening day loss at Guiseley and then a dozen after losing at York in September.