Making his Mark
PUBLISHED: 08:39 01 December 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 14 September 2010
King's Lynn's cult hero Mark Warren proudly leads out the Linnets tonight on one of the 'biggest nights of his career'. Captain marvel chalked up more than 300 Football League appearances in a 12-year crack at the professional ranks.
King's Lynn's cult hero Mark Warren proudly leads out the Linnets tonight on one of the 'biggest nights of his career'.
Captain marvel chalked up more than 300 Football League appearances in a 12-year crack at the professional ranks.
The influential centre-back insists Lynn's mouth watering televised FA Cup second-round tie against Oldham is still extra special.
“This will be up there with anything I've achieved,” said the 32-year-old. “It'll be a tremendous occasion, not just for me, but the family, all the fans and everyone involved with King's Lynn. I've been to the third round a couple of times before, but this just feels different.
“With all due respect Lynn are perhaps a smaller club to some of the other teams I've played for. We are so close knit and that makes it more exciting. I'm relishing the challenge.
“There's a great night in store and we will give it our all. I'm chomping at the bit and so are the players. We could be part of King's Lynn history. People might be talking about us for years to come and that's what we are aiming for - we want to do it for ourselves, our families and the club.”
Warren promises respect, but no fear will be shown to the Coca-Cola League One visitors.
“May the best team win,” he said. “It the FA Cup, banana skins and all that - anyone can beat anyone. We go into this one with no pressure. Really all we need to think about is doing what got us here.
“I know they had a good result at Huddersfield last weekend, but I don't know too much about them. To be honest, I'm not fussed. I think they should worry about us. We're the home side and it's up to us to make that advantage count.
“We're not daft - we know it is going to be tough. We'll be trying to set a good tempo and control the game. If we can keep a clean sheet then with the form of our front lads I feel we are capable of scoring goals.”
Warren is fighting fit after a niggling knee problem and ready to add his considerable experience to the cause.
“The knee did balloon up for a while, but it's fine now,” he said. “The break we've had probably did it no harm although it would've been nice to get a game in.
“The experienced lads like myself, Westy and Sam (McMahon) have been in these type of situations before. I've played in front of the cameras a few times so it won't be a problem. Hopefully some of the other lads won't be affected by the nerves. If they are it's up to the senior players to calm them down beforehand and get us ready to perform and play our normal game.”
Warren is calling on Lynn's 5,000 strong home support to raise the roof.
“To have that many behind us is fantastic,” he said. “The atmosphere is going to be electric and it'll give us a big lift. At Bishop's Stortford it was scary - when we saw how many fans had travelled it felt like we were at home that day.
“When the draw came out I was delighted to get a tie at our place. All we're focussing on right now is Oldham but if we could get through then there's every chance of pulling a big gun. I'd love to go up against guys like Thierry Henry - that would be awesome. All we're thinking about is this game, though.”
Warren revealed new Peterborough recruit Adam Smith could be at The Walks to cheer on his former colleagues. Smith's stunning free-kick brace unhinged Bishop's Stortford in the previous round before his move to London Road earlier this month.
“I spoke to him last week and he's hopeful of getting along,” said Warren. “I think Peterborough are away this weekend so we'll see. He's still got close links and a lot of affection for the place because this club gave him another chance.
“Of course it was a massive blow to lose Smithy. To replace someone with his quality in our league is near impossible. He was a lovely lad and you can't stand in the way of a chance like that.”
Warren had his own bittersweet memories from Lynn's stunning 5-3 win at the Conference South high-flyers.
The skipper dragged an early penalty straight at the keeper, but Warren will be first in the queue if Lynn get another chance from 12 yards against the Latics.
“Don't talk about penalties,” he said. “I changed my mind at the last minute. I put the ball down, turned around and was going to smash it but as I ran up I changed my mind.
“I think me and Michael Frew are probably nowhere near the pens now. That said, I wouldn't shy away from it if we got one.”