Webb orders Linnets to keep their heads

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb wants his players to keep their cool in today's Southern League, Premier Division test at Tiverton.

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb wants his players to keep their cool in today's Southern League, Premier Division test at Tiverton.

Skipper Mark Warren and recently-departed midfielder Matt O'Halloran were dismissed in a fiery Ladysmead battle last season.

The Linnets were also on the end of a robust Rugby outfit in Monday's Bank Holiday defeat, but Webb backs his men to stand firm.

"It's something I'll certainly be stressing to the players before the game," he said. "We can't afford anyone to get caught up in that - especially experienced players. It's not acceptable because that can cost us on the football pitch and in the longer term.

"I think every team we've played this season has been competitive, but the boys have shown a lot of discipline not to get involved."

Lynn travelled overnight without defenders Ben Chapman (calf) and Greg Crane (ankle). Jack Defty (back) was poised to make the trip while Warren and Dean West have shaken off minor knocks. Exciting youngster Joe Francis (bug) is Webb's biggest doubt.

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"Joe is struggling," said Webb. "I think it's just a consequence of all the travelling we've done. Danny Bloomfield had something similar at Rugby so they might be too weak to start. We've got the likes of Adam Smith who I can push further forward to bring in Greg Lake so there's plenty of options for us."

Midfielder Shaun Carey was also in the travelling party, but has suffered a calf setback in his injury comeback from a double leg break. Michael Frew will continue to play with heavy strapping on his left hand after breaking a finger in last week's win at Yate.

An upbeat Webb is pushing the positives from Lynn's late Rugby reverse.

"Defensively we've been excellent so far," he said. "The boys look solid. I wanted to get us more resilient and that is coming. People will be frustrated and if you were being hyper-critical I'd agree we're not playing the football this club has been associated with. The thing I would say is you don't win leagues or promotion at the end of August.

"I was disappointed with the Rugby result, but a bigger thing for me to come out of that game is I want my strikers to be prepared to get hurt - to throw themselves at balls in the box. We had so much possession and didn't work the keeper enough."

Webb has targeted two additions to complete his squad.

"We have a group as good as anything in this league," he said. "I just want to add one or two quality players. We've put in a lot of work and spent plenty of time talking to players. Initially they have been keen, but when push comes to shove don't want to drop down."

Tiverton boss Martyn Rogers is braced for his side's toughest test of the campaign.

"For some of our young lads it's going to be a rude awakening," he said. "They are a big strong outfit who always spend a lot at the start of the season. We always give them a good game. Our players expect a tough match and we will prepare accordingly."

King's Lynn (from): Howie, Murray, West, Smith, Warren, Lake, C Defty, Fisk, Camm, Frew, Melton, Turner, Bloomfield, J Defty, Nolan, Francis, Spriggs.