Linnets are aiming to turn up heat
King's Lynn chief Gary Setchell wants to turn up the heat in the UCL Premier Division title race tonight at Spalding (7.45pm).
Town ended St Ives' impressive run with a thumping 5-1 win at The Walks on Saturday and Setchell is demanding more of the same against one of the pre-season promotion fancies. Lynn have the rare luxury of three further league games on the bounce after fresh cup exploits already this campaign – and Setchell wants to cash in to keep the pressure on the early pacesetters.
Town head to Lincolnshire with an unblemished away league record, but defeat to title rivals Long Buckby and dropped points against Sleaford leave the Linnets playing catch up.
'I don't think either Peterborough or Long Buckby are quite as strong as St Neots were in terms of the depth to their squads,' he said. 'They got 105 points to win the league last year. I think 100 would be there or thereabouts and we are on course for that. We just have to keep winning games and react to any slip-ups from Long Buckby.
'I was delighted at how we kicked on after the Tamworth cup game. We asked the players to use that as a bit of a platform and you could really see it in our play at the weekend and how they set about the task. People were talking about St Ives and their recent form in the build up, but we are in great shape as well. We seem to raise it when the bigger games come around in this league.'
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Setchell classes the Tulips in the same bracket, despite early season struggles for a side operating at step four 12 months ago.
'They were one of the favourites to go back up in the summer,' said Setchell. 'They have a decent budget and I would think they would feel they have underachieved, but they will look at us and know if they can win it's almost a case of kick starting their season. We seem to have shed that Tuesday night syndrome if you look at our results. At home we are playing well, making the pitch wide and putting teams under a lot of pressure and away from home we have been prepared to rough it out. That is the difference from last season. We can go there full of confidence and look to keep this going because we are five from five away.'
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Prolific striker Jack Defty drew a rare blank at the weekend and Setchell revealed he plans to adopt a protective policy this campaign with the club's talisman.
'He has had his fair share of niggles in the last few months so we want to try and protect him,' said Setchell. 'At 3-0 up we would have liked to have taken him off but they got one back and started to put us under a bit of pressure and he is a major defensive weapon for us. Jack probably wins 80pc of the headers he goes for in his own penalty box.
'I've spoken to him about that and it might be the case that he doesn't play in all the games this season. Maybe we can look at the ones against the sides we would expect to beat. That is no reflection on him, it's because he is so important to us and what we want to achieve. The aim is to get out of this league and we need Jack to help us do that.'
Robbie Harris, Steve Spriggs and Danny Beaumont were all on target against St Ives to move into double figures for the season. Setchell believes Town have more than enough firepower to maintain their push for honours on multiple fronts after last season's near misses in the league, FA Vase and Norfolk Senior Cup – where Beaumont was on target in the Carrow Road final for former club Dereham.
'We've used Danny just playing off Jack in the last few weeks where he can get on the half turn and use his pace to attack defenders,' said Setchell. 'We want to get him operating between the lines where he is difficult to pick up and he scored a great free kick from outside the box at the weekend.
'He is a quiet lad off the pitch, but he mixes ever so well with the other players and he has been a great signing for us.'