'I feel a lot of teams now set up to stop us playing' - Linnets boss relishing the tactical challenge
Ian Culverhouse believes teams are wise to King's Lynn's style following last season's successes.
The Linnets came within a game of promotion, having been in the fight virtually all season.
But now they are paying a price as opponents set up to halt the flowing football which has become synonymous with the Lynn boss.
“I think we have got more respect because of how we played last year,” said Culverhouse ahead of Tuesday night’s home game against Royston. “The expectation level now is a lot higher and teams now come out to spoil us, where last year I thought teams went toe to toe with us and our quality shone through because of the way we played.
“I find this year that more teams are giving us more respect in the way they set up because they stop us playing and they get loads of banks behind the ball and loads of people behind the ball to stop those little avenues where we pass and the passing lane. I thought last year there was more space for us to play because we were new, they didn’t know how we played, but word has get around.
“I feel a lot of teams now set up to stop us playing. They can do what they want, it is their prerogative. We just have to find ways of winning matches.”
Culverhouse is no stranger to tactical conundrums, given his coaching experience at the very highest level of the English game, so it is no surprise he relishes the current challenge.
“I enjoy it more,” he said. “It gives you a chance to have a little tinker and try something new and with this group of players any information that you try to give them they take it on. You don’t see them saying, ‘I’m not sure what he is trying to do’. They are a pleasure to coach because they take on new ideas.”
It may sometimes be imperceptible to some, but Culverhouse loves a tinker – the latter stages at St Ives where he went for the winner was a prime example.
“We changed the system three times just to try and win the game and I left them a bit short at the back and it nearly cost us, but they take it on board because they know we are trying to win games – that is the beauty of it.”
Ryan Jarvis was rested at the weekend but looks likely to return against Royston, while his replacement, Jordan Richards, performed well enough to start again.