Double header poses problems for Linnets
CHRIS WISE King's Lynn manager Keith Webb has experienced most of the challenges football can throw up during more than 25 years in the game - but two matches in the space of 24 hours this weekend will be a totally new experience.
King's Lynn manager Keith Webb has experienced most of the challenges football can throw up during more than 25 years in the game - but two matches in the space of 24 hours this weekend will be a totally new experience.
With earlier postponements because of waterlogged pitches and cup commitments causing a fixture backlog, the Linnets entertain Chippenham and Tiverton on successive afternoons - and Webb knows only too well what a huge physical challenge that will be.
"That sort of schedule would be tough for full-time professionals, who are training day in, day out," said the manager, who never once had to send his charges out two days on the trot during his time with Norwich City's youth and reserve sides.
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"It will be extremely difficult, but the situation is there and we have to accept it. There's no point in moaning. We have got to go out there and try and take maximum points.
"We have got a squad of around 17 players and we will have to make use of that over the two games. I certainly don't think I will be naming the same starting line-up on both days."
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The Linnets' cause has been helped by the generosity of chairman Ken Bobbins, who has paid for the squad to stay in a local hotel tonight to spare some of the more far-flung players an extra journey tomorrow.
"That will certainly help us on Sunday when we come to play Tiverton," said Webb. "The lads can have a meal and get a good night's rest and then it will be a case of having a look at all of them in the morning to see who's ready."
Webb will be without the suspended Mark Warren and Matt O'Halloran for the double header and is keeping his fingers crossed that no other players are added to the list of absentees after several picked up knocks during Easter Monday's 1-0 defeat at Rugby.
He will assess the fitness of all the members of his squad before naming a team for today's crucial clash with Chippenham, the best placed side to replace Lynn in the end of season play-offs should Webb's men continue to drop points.
The Wiltshire outfit are just one point behind their hosts, having played two more games, and the manager is well aware of the significance of this afternoon's encounter.
"We have struggled away from home recently but since I have been here our home form has been pretty good and that has obviously got to continue at the weekend," he said. "We have got a chance to put some distance between ourselves and the sides below us by winning the two games and that's exactly what we will be aiming to do."
The hectic schedule will test not only the fitness of the players but also the loyalty of fans, who are being asked to fork out twice in one weekend. That has been recognised by the club, who have announced cut-price admission for those attending both fixtures.
Fans who turn up this afternoon with have the option of buying a ticket for both games for £15, a saving of £3, while children and pensioners attending the Chippenham game will be able to watch Tiverton for free.
The usual admission prices will apply for fans who choose to watch just one of the games, both of which kick-off at 3pm.