Webb already thinking of the Conference
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:34 10 September 2010
King's Lynn's Southern League, Premier Division title winning manager Keith Webb tells Paddy Davitt its full steam ahead for the club's Conference bow in the second of an exclusive three part interview.
King's Lynn's Southern League, Premier Division title winning manager KEITH WEBB tells Paddy Davitt its full steam ahead for the club's Conference bow in the second of an exclusive three part interview.
Linnets' chief Keith Webb is targeting a Blue Square Premier promotion assault.
Webb insists the club must go all out to attract the three of four quality additions capable of launching a sustained play off push.
Lynn will discover later this month if it is Blue Square North or South once Conference officials meet to re-draw the top echelons of the non league game for next season.
“I'd prefer to go South because I think they play a lot more football,” said Webb. “The North is a little bit more physical. If we have to go that route then we'll get used it but a lot of the current squad is based down here as well so that is a factor. I'm not looking to consolidate. I want the play offs. You look at Salisbury and Histon and they took the momentum forward. Neither changed the squad too much. Even Bath this season ended up hovering around the play offs.
“I think we more than held our own against these type of clubs in the cups so I don't think we're too far off. From what I've seen there isn't a massive gulf. I watched the Braintree and Eastbourne Borough play off game the other day and I believe we would give them a really good test. I'm not saying just with the squad we've got here but if we added the right type of player. I'm talking three or four quality additions.”
Webb is convinced a club of Lynn's size can more than hold their own at the higher level as they plan for unchartered territory.
“This is a bigger club than I thought when I first came in - absolutely,” he said. “It has exceeded my own initial expectations but with that comes things you have to put up with. I know that now and I want to work hard to succeed. I would much rather be at a club with a chance of doing something and achieving things.”
Webb also has a message for the critics after leading the club to an historic Southern Premier crown.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “Arsene Wenger gets criticised, Avram Grant had had it at Chelsea. You know when you're the manager of a club with high expectations that you can't please everybody. To say I don't look at forums is a lie but when it's constructive you look at it and think maybe they have a point. But the rest - when it gets personal - you just have to switch off.
“I'm at a club with high demands. It's the difference between having nothing to play for on the final weekend or having 500-odd fans travel a huge distance. They want us to be successful, I want us to be successful and so does Lee (Glover). We all want to take the club forward.”
Webb did it his way over Lynn's title run in with some crucial man management decisions. Striker Matty Nolan struck nine league goals after Webb's ultimatum to the front man following his abject display in Lynn's errea Southern League Cup semi final exit in early March.
Webb's hunch to throw defensive loan recruits Rikki Bains and Gavin Hoyte straight into the starting line up for the pivotal showdown with rivals Halesowen at The Walks also paid dividends.
“I think I got most of the big calls right,” he said. “Of course they were gambles. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. If they hadn't I might not be sitting here with a league title under our belt. You need a little bit of luck along the way and I felt we earned ours. There's no question at the time Hoyte and Bains coming in gave us a lift but at the end of the day when you bring in players they have to be the right players and that was key.”
t Tomorrow: Webb on the future of his prized asset Joe Francis