'He's permanently playing chess with that board of his in the dugout' - Culverhouse the grand master
Paul Bastock believes King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse has a touch of the grand master about him as he plots the Linnets' promotion challenge.
Lynn head to Hitchin Town on Wednesday night on the back of a 19-game unbeaten league run, with Culverhouse and his assistant Bastock responsible for 14 of them since taking the reins.
Hitchin were 2-1 winners over leaders Stourbridge at the weekend so go into the game high on confidence - and perhaps more reluctant than some opponents to frustrate. Barwell tried it at the weekend, but Lynn came through with a 3-2 win.
“Teams know the way Ian plays football,” said Bastock.
“Ian is a tinkerer, he likes to sort things out so we can get our overloads and he is permanently playing chess with that board of his in the dugout at times. He is very clever at his job.”
Culverhouse will undoubtedly drill into his team the need to prevent crosses going into Alex Street’s area - and, if they do, for defenders to ensure they are first to the ball: their inability to do either was behind Barwell’s goals on Saturday.
“We hate conceding goals from restarts, from set-pieces,” said Bastock. “It has always been a hate of mine and I know it is of the gaffer’s. The first one, could we have stopped the cross? Yes, but once we didn’t there were two players and one of theirs. Second goal was decent delivery by them but you’d hope one of our three defenders would step up and attack it, but not to be.
It is one of those days - we will look at working on set pieces - that will be the task for the next training night.”
It wasn’t all bad: Lynn added three points to the pot and there were seem outstanding performances from the likes of Michael Gash, Adam Marriott, Chris Henderson and Michael Clunan, a player who has sometimes come in for criticism from sections of the fan base.
“You can see why he (Clunan) is skipper, because he leads by example,” said Bastock. “Take him out of the team and we would be a lot weaker. He is a fantastic leader on the pitch - he has qualities and people don’t realise what he gives off the ball and any criticism coming his way is unjust – he is fantastic.”
Lynn have new signing Will Mellors-Blair available at Hitchin.