‘You have six games to get in the side’ - Lynn boss tells players
- Credit: Archant
King’s Lynn Town are up and running in their pre-season campaign - Chris Lakey was at Stowmarket Town to see Ian Culverhouse’s men put through their paces
The first warm-up of the summer it may have been, but King’s Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse was in no mood for excuses after a single-goal defeat at Stowmarket Town.
“Yes, it’s only a friendly, and our first one ... but I still don’t like losing,” he said.
It hasn’t happened very often under his managerial watch, and in the final reckoning this cobweb shifter will mean nothing. But what it will do is give Culverhouse the opportunity to see how much his players want to be a part of Linnets history.
The first half was lacklustre against a Stow side which swept all before them in the Thurlow Nunn Premier last season only for the coronavirus pandemic to pull the rug from under their feet before they could rightfully be crowned champions. The second half saw more attacking intent, through Dayle Southwell and Michael Gash, with Sonny Carey pulling the strings more effectively than Michael Clunan, admittedly out of action for so long, had in the first.
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But with an almost totally different starting line-up for each half, three players missing and the possibility of two more new faces coming in, it’s clear there is a lot of competition for a shirt, everywhere on the pitch.
The ‘starting XIs’ offered no clue as to Culverhouse’s preferred line-up - that will come over the next few weeks,
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“We had a few square pegs in round holes as well, but when we have a full squad to pick from you will see more of a team cohesion,” he said after the game.
“We just said there that we can’t afford to play at 50pc, 70pc – we have a squad that wants the shirt and whoever comes through these next games and shows us they are ready for it and want to do it, they will play. If someone just goes in and plays 70pc, you can’t afford that, you have to be 100pc every time.
“Prove yourselves - you have six games to get in the side.
“At the moment you are just looking at little bits and pieces that you have been working on. Didn’t see a lot of it, I thought we were too slow on the ball. They banked up on us and rightly so, but the goal we gave away was a poor goal. We have up possession in a bad area and one through ball beats our two.
“There were good bits and bad bits, but we have a long way to go.”
The only goal of the game came after 40 minutes, when Josh Mayhew raced through and slipped the ball past Alex Street. Lynn had few efforts on goal – Adam Marriott from distance was as close as it got, but after the break it was a little better: Southwell and Gash both had ‘goals’ ruled out but both looked lively, with Carey running well from midfield. Street and new recruit Tai Fleming were the only players to start both halves, although the keeper will give way at some stage of Archie Mair, on tour with parent club Norwich City in Germany. Fleming was given a rest when Luke Johnson came back on, switching from striker role to centre-back as Culverhouse ensured he and fellow youngsters Joe Gascoigne and Mitch Raspberry got some valuable experience under their belts.
With Canaries loan player Simon Power (abductor strain) and summer signing Jamar Loza (calf) both carrying knocks, Culverhouse’s plan for two strong, pacey wingers is still on hold.
Add potentially two new faces and Lynn will be pleased with their recruitment ahead of their first campaign in the National League.
“We have potentially five more coming into that squad so we are looking good,” he said. “If we can get the others through the door and in with us, on paper we have done our recruitment really well.
“We’re going to have pace in our side with the new boys and that gives us another dimension and we can look at different things and different combinations.
Lynn’s summer schedule was seven days late in starting because of the previous week’s cancellation at Bishop’s Stortford.
“It didn’t help last week because that would have been this game if that makes sense, and we would have gone into this game a little bit sharper a little more match wise and you can see they (Stowmarket) are ahead of us – I think this was their fourth or fifth game,” said Culverhouse.
“That was our first one, two XIs and we played a few youngsters - it was alright, it’s just a long way to go and we will get better and better.
King’s Lynn Town (first half): Street, Jones, McAuley, Fleming, Raspberry, Johnson, Clunan, Richards, Hawkins, Marriott, Henderson.
Second half: Street, Barrows, Smith, Fleming, Brown, Carey, Jarvis, Kelly, Gascoigne, Gash, Southwell.