Thurlbourne still has a big part to play for us, insists King’s Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell
- Credit: IAN BURT
Midfielder Jamie Thurlbourne still has a key role to play in King's Lynn Town's season, according to Gary Setchell.
The left-footed wideman has been a substitute in five of the Linnets' last six games but this week turned down an approach from fierce rivals Wisbech Town. It ended growing speculation that the 25-year-old wanted to exit The Walks and Setchell hopes his winger can now recover his early-season form to help Lynn's push for promotion.
The Linnets boss said: 'Jamie's not played as much as he would have liked in the last month or two but a lot of that is down to how we've set up in the FA Trophy. We've been a bit more defensive and tried to hit teams with pace on the counter-attack.
'He's been coming on for the last 20 minutes or so and using the ball well. I've explained this all to him and he's not an unintelligent lad. He understands and he knows he will play games.
'When we go 4-4-2 Jamie is our only recognised left winger. At the start of the season people were saying how well he was playing. Maybe he has lost a bit of confidence and he needs to bring a bit more energy to his performances. But there's players who compete at a higher-level who haven't got the ability that Jamie has. He's happy here, he's been a King's Lynn player for two-and-a-half years and nothing has changed. He's still a big player for us. When he gets a run of games again I'm sure he'll be fine.'
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Thurlbourne has been an almost ever-present in the reformed club's side since signing for the Linnets in 2010. He has currently made more appearances, 135, for Town than any other player in Setchell's squad.
The former Mildenhall Town ace has also started 26 times this term and even enjoyed a free role in the middle of the park in front of Dan Quigley and Richard Bunting during the early stages of the season.
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Goal-machine winger Steve Spriggs' departure has now left a void in Setchell's starting line-up which he needs to fill, creating another opportunity for Thurlbourne, who has scored 36 goals himself for Lynn, to get more game time.
'I need to start preparing the players we've got left at the club. He (Spriggs) offered a lot in attack but not much defensively and I'll be looking for someone else to step up to the plate,' said Setchell.
'I've signed Shane Tolley and George Thomson this season and lost Steve Spriggs so it's swings and roundabouts. It's been happening for 120 years to managers and it'll happen for the 120 years after I've gone. I'll take it on the chin and move on quickly.'
Life without Spriggs begins at league leaders Coalville Town, weather permitting, on Saturday.