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Will Ian Culverhouse change his mind if Lynn win huge play-off game?

Ian Culverhouse leads King's Lynn Town into play-off-final battle today - but will he be back next season? Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse leads King's Lynn Town into play-off-final battle today - but will he be back next season? Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse could be tempted into a dramatic change of heart and remain as manager of King's Lynn Town - if they secure promotion.

The Linnets face Slough in the Southern League play-off final at The Walks in what is expected to be Culverhouse’s final game in charge after a stunning first season at the helm.

But the 53-year-old revealed last month he would be leaving the club this summer, prompting owner Stephen Cleeve to begin a search for his successor.

However, it is understood that Culverhouse has hinted that, should Lynn win today and earn promotion to the National League set-up, he would consider staying on.

Culverhouse had given three months notice to the owner in February, but after a meeting with Cleeve it was agreed to talk again once the current season had finished – a move that appeared to have been scuppered when the manager went public in April.

Lynn fans made their feelings known during Wednesday’s 3-0 play-off semi-final win over Weymouth, singing “Ian Culverhouse, we want you to stay”.

When asked if that was a possibility, Cleeve said: “You never say never. And yes, I think there is a chance he could stay, but I don’t know.

“I think if we don’t go up there is no chance, but if we go up there is a chance.”

It seems likely the two men would need to thrash out differences between them: for example, Culverhouse has been highly critical of the state of the pitch, but Cleeve has appointed Steve Curtis, who looks after Mildenhall’s pitch, as his groundsman and there was a marked improvement for the win over Weymouth.

Culverhouse has not spoken to the media since his departure was revealed, but goes into today’s final; showdown with the full backing of his chairman.

“There is no doubt in my mind at all that Ian is a superb coach,” said Cleeve. “After what he has achieved he deserves to be there in the final.”

Cleeve is expecting a crowd of around 2,000 for the final, with Slough indicating a travelling contingent of around 300 and the Linnets have urged fans to arrive early. Gates open at 1pm.

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