Linnets face mind games

King's Lynn caretaker boss Shaun Carey is backing his Southern League, Premier Division high rollers to handle the mind games at Clevedon this afternoon.

King's Lynn caretaker boss Shaun Carey is backing his Southern League, Premier Division high rollers to handle the mind games at Clevedon this afternoon.

Carey insists Lynn's unblemished league run since opening day defeat against Halesowen is under threat with the Seasiders' expecting a bumper crowd in their bid to topple the FA Cup heroes.

“To be honest a lot of sides in our league are cheating themselves,” said Carey. “With our cup run and everything else that came with it we are going to places and finding teams desperate to try and raise their game. I had exactly the same with Rushden in the Conference. We'd play clubs who had about 200 fans for home matches and when we went there was more than a thousand.

“It's about us being mentally prepared, winning the key battles and one on ones. If we do then I expect our greater ability to come to the fore. I can't ask anymore of the players at present - it was our attitude that got us a result at Windsor in midweek.

“Everything is going so well for us right now but football can change quickly. I know that better than anyone after what happened to me with my injury.”

Carey faces a selection dilemma with influential skipper Mark Warren (back) poised to return after missing Lynn's FA Trophy success.

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“I've spoken to Wazza and he's going to be fine,” said Carey. “It's a nice problem to have. Steve Melton played really well in the centre of midfield against Windsor. He can slot in anywhere across the middle. I just feel without Mark Camm in there as a holding player Steve and Sam McMahon both like to get forward.

“Matt Nolan is another one. He's probably disappointed not to be starting games but the front two have done ever so well. I've asked him to do a job on the right in the last couple of games because he is definitely capable of linking up with the strikers and giving us options in wide areas.”

Peterborough loan signing Rodney Hicks (hamstring) has not made the trip. Wideman Matt O'Halloran (back) undergoes a late fitness test. Fringe players Greg Crane, Stephen Harvey and Sam Gaughran are on reserve duty ahead of Lynn's hectic festive period.

“The lads are better off playing games than sitting on the bench,” said Carey. “Craney could be needed with the two centre backs close to suspension and I want to be confident he can slot straight in. John Higgs wanted to have a reserve run out but I don't want to leave us short if Shaun (Marshall) got injured.

“The first team has to be my priority and at times last season we went to places with only three players on the bench.

“Rodney damaged his hamstring training with Peterborough so there's no point in taking a risk and Matty was struggling after Tuesday night so we'll have to see how he feels.”

Carey accepts Lynn have little margin for error with points not prize money now at stake.

“I was quite pleased to see Bath's midweek game called off,” he said. “That would've put us four games behind them. We know there's a really busy spell coming up for us - especially over Christmas - but all we can do is focus on the next one.

“The secretary tells me we've never won at Clevedon, which is all I need to hear. I'm determined to try and put that right.”

King's Lynn: Marshall, West, C Defty, Warren, Cooper, Camm, J Defty, McMahon, Frew, Notman, O'Halloran, Nolan, Norris, Toms, Higgs, Melton.

Lynn will travel to Northwood in a re-arranged Southern League, Premier Division fixture on Monday, February 5.