No more outside recruiting this season - Culverhouse
- Credit: Ian Burt
Ian Culverhouse will have to ‘recruit from within’ for the remainder of the season as the battle to plug holes in his team continues.
The Linnets boss looks destined to lose Cameron King for the last six games – and possibly even permanently - starting with Monday’s trip to Boreham Wood.
Ethan Coleman’s short-lived but successful stint is now over, and Elkan Baggott’s goal which took Ipswich Town into extra-time and ultimately victory over Sheffield United in the FA Youth Cup on Friday now means he will miss more games – the Tractor Boys have a May 15 semi-final date with Liverpool, which will rule him out of the trip to Yeovil and possibly the trip to Chesterfield four days earlier.
Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse has been used to naming virtual strangers in his match-day squad, but for now it will be strictly those on the books who help the club see out a torrid season.
“I think we have to work with the ones we have got here so there will be no new additions now, this is us all the way through now,” said Culverhouse.
The Lynn boss has been reluctant to push youngsters into the National League fray, but teenage midfielder Joe Gascoigne – who made his senior debut in the home win over Altrincham a month ago - could now get another opportunity.
“The game he played he didn’t look out of place, he did well. He is part of it, a massive part of it and he will get his chance again,” said Culverhouse.
“There are too many games between now and the end for him not to get a part of it.”
The King situation will be resolved in the summer, but the midfielder – who suffered breathing difficulties in the early stages of last weekend’s game against Dagenham & Redbridge – will definitely not feature again this season. There is a clearly a question mark over his Linnets career, with Culverhouse concerned about fitness issues.
So while Coleman has gone, and while King may well follow, there is little doubt that Kyle Callan-McFadden will be going nowhere.
The central defender was reunited on Saturday with Rory McAuley, back on duty after three months out injured and furloughed – and now on a flexi-furlough.
McAuley showed few signs of rust and plenty of signs that the appetite for battle hasn’t waned. But it was Callan-McFadden whose star again shone brightest. There is a teak toughness combined with a lot of footballing quality about the Irishman that managers love, and Culverhouse is no exception.
“He has taken massive knock and he throws his body on the line every game,” said Culverhouse, who signed Callan-McFadden from League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers.
“He has been outstanding since the day he came to us. And he is a leader, he rallies people around.
“He took his time – he admits himself that it is a lot more physical and the intensity is higher here. He took a couple of games to settle in, but I wouldn’t like to not have him in the side.
“He will be a big part of what we are trying to do here.
“It meant a lot to him today to get a clean sheet - him and Rory, the whole team really, but having those two in there in the heart of your defence certainly helps.
“Rory has done well to last for 90 minutes - he came and trained with us on Thursday and he is a warrior.”
That defensive resolve will be needed at 15th-placed Boreham Wood, a side who were comfortable 3-0 winners at The Walks back in October. Lynn’s starting XI on Saturday featured just two players – McAuley and Michael Clunan – who started that game.
“It is a hard, hard task down there,” added Culverhouse.
“But a lovely pitch so we will try and get on the ball again and try and stamp our way on it, but it is a massive task because they have had a free weekend so they will be fresh – we will roll down there and see if Rory can do another one for us.”