Striker crisis for Linnets

King's Lynn caretaker boss Shaun Carey faces a striker crisis ahead of tonight's British Gas Business, Southern League Premier Division home test against Gloucester.

King's Lynn caretaker boss Shaun Carey faces a striker crisis ahead of tonight's British Gas Business, Southern League Premier Division home test against Gloucester.

First choice hitmen Jack Defty and Michael Frew are both doubtful as Lynn bid to erase the memory of Saturday's reverse at Clevedon.

Carey's plans to shuffle his pack will now depend on a late fitness bulletin.

“I'd like to leave two or three out,” he said. “We've had a lot of travelling and heavy pitches to contend with. In an ideal world I want to try and freshen things up. If the two front lads don't make it that'll be a massive blow.

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“Jack had a fitness test on his knee before Clevedon but it just wasn't right. Frewy took a whack in the first half. He managed to solider on for the rest of the game but went away with a nasty dead leg. We've also got the likes Matty O'Halloran and Rodney Hicks struggling with hamstrings.

“That's the situation and we have to get on with it. Clevedon was disappointing. I was frustrated, the players were frustrated and the supporters who travelled were frustrated - but we'll regroup.”

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Carey warns the Tigers to expect a scrap.

“I want us to start fast and be in their faces,” he said. “They'll have been on the bus for a few hours and we need to take advantage. I imagine Gloucester will treat it like a cup final, just as Clevedon did. It doesn't matter what league you play in - teams never make it easy. I just want us to keep things in perspective. We've lost a match and that always was going to happen at some stage. We went on a really decent run after getting beat on the opening day and we've got enough quality and character to do the same now.”

Carey confirmed midfielder Steve Melton will start despite his first half dismissal for dissent at the weekend. The Linnets chief revealed the club is poised to appeal Melton's red card.

“Steve did swear but it was directed at the player who fouled him - not the referee,” said Carey. “He's an honest guy and he actually went in to apologise to the ref afterwards - although he made it clear he didn't swear at him. I had a chat with the official as well. I think he was trying to cover himself because he said he'd heard foul and abusive language. If that was the case we'd have players sent off every week. To lose him for three games would be a blow.”

Carey has urged players and supporters to look forward not back after picking the bones out of Lynn's Clevedon humbling.

“We had our words in the dressing room,” he said. “The line has been drawn and we move on. I didn't have a pleasant journey home. Neither did the players. We're not used to losing games and it's not a nice feeling. “First half there only looked like one winner. The keeper has made a great save at 1-0 and if that goes in we kill the game. Steve's sending off has given them a lift after the break and then we switched off for the second. If they'd played us off the park I would've held my hands up, but that wasn't the case.”

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

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