Andy's a born leader says captain Smith

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn skipper Adam Smith has warned his men now is not the time to feel sorry for themselves ahead of tonight's Blue Square North test at leaders Tamworth.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn skipper Adam Smith has warned his men now is not the time to feel sorry for themselves ahead of tonight's Blue Square North test at leaders Tamworth (7.45pm).

Lynn head to The Lamb bidding to end a winless 10-game league run that threatens to drag Keith Webb's men into a full blown relegation battle.

Smith expects a major test of Lynn's fragile confidence against Gary Mills' full-time outfit after a failed second half fight back in Saturday's 3-2 home league defeat to Blyth.

"We were very down in the dressing room," said Smith. "After about 30 minutes of silence a few of the boys agreed this is the best thing that could happen rather than have a whole week to stew over that result.

"It's frustrating for the fans but I can assure you the players feel it just as much. We don't go out to lose or play badly. We're just in a rut and it does become a state of mind. If you have that winning feeling you go into games full of confidence. It doesn't matter who the opposition is you seem to have an extra 5pc in the tank.

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"As much as you don't want to think about it, it probably is in your mind when we go behind. You know it's another hard task. We are not starting games properly. It shouldn't take going two or three down to get us playing because you can't give teams in this league a head start."

Tamworth will be bidding for a league double after a 2-1 win at The Walks in October following on from early season Setanta Shield success in Norfolk.

"In both those games they had the best of the first half and we came back strongly," said Smith. "Given they are a full time squad you would expect them to finish the better with their fitness levels.

"Maybe in both games they went 2-0 up and took their foot off the pedal. That's something which could work in our favour but we know it'll be a tough game. It's not about them. It's about us.

"You see it at every level of the game - when teams are struggling they just need to get a scrappy goal or a set piece. It might take something like that in the 90th minute to get the win and give us a boost."

Keeper Scott Howie could be in line for a recall after missing the last two games with a groin injury. Webb will assess the fitness of defender Mark Peters (ankle) but striker Jack Defty is poised to start after a scoring cameo against Blyth following his one match suspension.

Defender Greg Crane is available after his red card in stoppage time against the Spartans. Former Norwich midfield recruit Andy Johnson is again expected to feature in central midfield.

"I remember watching him at Norwich when I was seven, eight, nine," said Smith. "I'll have to remind him of that at our first training session but, seriously, if you look at his pedigree he has been there and done it. It can only help to have a guy like that around the place. People have said Andy is one of those natural born leaders and maybe that is something we have missed in the team since Mark Warren left."

Smith admits he is relishing the captaincy after taking over at Gainsborough on Boxing Day.

"I was a little bit surprised," he said. "I'd had the flu the week before so just to be playing and then get the armband was nice. I was vice-captain at Norwich in the youth and reserve teams. I really enjoy it although I'm not one of those who will shout or bawl. I try to encourage the boys and I think it takes all sorts to be a captain. David Beckham was never a shouter but led by example."

Tamworth duo Nick Wright and Stefan Morrison (hamstrings) miss out while Michael Wylde is suspended.

Lynn, from: Howie, Chapman, Graham, Crane, Thomas, Frew, Camm, Hurren, Mitchell, Johnson, Fisk, Smith, Defty, Joachim, Francis, Murray.

BlueSq match odds: Tamworth 1/2, King's Lynn 9/2, Draw 11/4

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