'I had to sit in front of Jacko and I was begging' - Linnets boss

Simeon Jackson for King's Lynn Town at Wealdstone

Simeon Jackson puts on the after burners during his debut for King's Lynn Town at Wealdstone - Credit: Ian Burt

A decade ago, Simeon Jackson was preparing to explode on the scene and become a promotion hero with Norwich City. 

His late goal surge included the one at Portsmouth that secured the Canaries return to the Premier League. 

His coach and assistant boss at the time was Ian Culverhouse, who has asked Jackson for something a little less dramatic, but still vitally important - help. 

The former Canada striker, 33, answered the call as Lynn’s squad found itself culled by the furlough scheme in desperate financial times. 

Simeon Jackson scores for Norwich City against Derby

Simeon Jackson celebrates a goal in a famous win over Derby during Norwich City's promotion season a decade ago - Credit: Archant

Culverhouse is again thankful, although it’s clear the manner of his recruitment was far from satisfactory. 

“I had to sit in front of Jacko and I was begging and he has come out of his way to give us a hand,” said the Linnets boss. 

“It is a situation that is diabolical really, that we are in, that we are having to go around begging players to come and play for us. It is not fair on them and I don’t think it is fair on the group that we have got because it is a good group and all of a sudden it is getting torn apart here, there and everywhere and people don’t know from day to day what the hell is going on.” 

Jackson made his debut in the 3-1 midweek defeat at Wealdstone, coming off the bench to replace another newcomer, Jak Hickman, whose loan spell from Bolton Wanderers is already under threat of being cut short after he suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out of Saturday’s home game against National League leaders Sutton United. 

"He has played two games for Chelmsford (this season), but you can see his quality,” said Culverhouse. “His movement is first class and he will get chances here because the lads are good enough behind him to find him. But his experience will help the boys, because we need a little bit of help. Kairo is young and enthusiastic, he’s just got to settle down in front of goal a little bit and not be rushed, and Jacko will help him on that.” 

With nine players currently furloughed, and a whole host of players injured, Culverhouse is genuinely down to the bare bones, but while the prevailing mood is downcast, there is no intention of giving up. 

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“There are two ways we can go,” he said. “We can feel sorry for ourselves and wilt and die or we can give it a go, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and give it a go, and that is all I can ask of them.” 

That demand was evident in defeat at Wealdstone where Lynn deserved better than to be on the wrong end of a 3-1 loss – which make it all the more difficult to marry up the cause and effect of the situation, certainly for those forced to sit out matches. 

"It must be murder for them, really hard for them,” said Culverhouse. “It’s hard enough for us who are coming out to do it and this group has always been a tight-knit group, so they want to stick together and they want to help each other because they are all mates and have been for the last two or three years and that is why this club is where it is at.” 

The game of selection chess continues on Saturday, with Culverhouse waiting on news of defender Kyle Callan-McFadden, who picked up a knock late on at Wealdstone, and striker Michael Gash, who missed the trip.