Heggs demands quick start from Linnets
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs aims to lay down a marker in today's Unibond Premier Division league opener against newly promoted Stocksbridge Park Steels at The Walks (3pm).
King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs aims to lay down a marker in today's Unibond Premier Division league opener against newly promoted Stocksbridge Park Steels at The Walks (3pm).
Heggs insists Norfolk's premier non league outfit is ready to banish any lingering hangover from a turbulent close season that brought off-the-field demotion followed by revolution to the club's playing and coaching staffs.
The no-nonsense Linnets' chief revealed he is fighting the butterflies on the eve of a new era for his pre-season title favourites.
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“I'm nervous, apprehensive, tentative, but if you didn't feel that way then I'm sorry you aren't human,” said Heggs. “As a player I could go and sort someone out on the pitch if they needed sorting - now I can make changes from the sidelines but it's over to my players to do the business and they are chomping at the bit.
“They think they are part of good squad and I feel the same. I'm nervous because I want to be successful and I want my team to be successful. I'd like to win the first five matches. Every manager in this league will be feeling the same but I know if we start well confidence will go through the roof.”
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Heggs is poised to unleash Kettering wide player Ryan Beswick after agreeing a one-month loan deal from the Conference National side. Lynn's boss also confirmed trialist Ben Algar - who featured at Rugby last weekend - is not part of his plans.
“I like him as a player and a person but he was no better than Phil Green and now we've got the opportunity to bring in someone of Ryan's quality,” said Heggs. “I have to say a big thank you to Michael Chinn for allowing me to get him here. He is on a contract at Kettering but this has been in the pipeline for three weeks or so. They've played him in centre midfield but he is an out and out wide player.
“I took him from Leicester to Redditch and by the end of last season he had the pick of three good clubs. We're getting a full time Conference National player for nine games which is great value for money.”
Heggs confirmed Green remains a key part of his promotion plan.
“I haven't brought Ryan in to get rid of Phil,” said Heggs. “This is non league and you can't have two players for every position but it's healthy to have competition for any ambitious football club. Ryan gives me another option and he's another wide player which is crucial to how I want to play. I've been using the same system for the last 18 months. I want us to get the ball wide and hit teams with pace. Ryan is similar to Owen Story, in your face all the time.”
Heggs has done his homework on the visitors and is preaching patience - both to his squad and an expectant home crowd.
“It might take two minutes to score, it might take 60, 70 or even the last minute but if we put enough pressure on it will tell,” he said. “Like in a boxing match the opponent might take a good shot in the first round but if you hit them with it in the 11th after they've had 150 in between they are going to go down. I don't know if sides will come here and get men behind the ball and try to hit us on the break. If I was in charge of King's Lynn and took a team to a good non league side like Rushden I wouldn't go out all guns blazing either.
“Listen, we might even go one down. That's football, it doesn't always go your way, but as long as the players keep faith in themselves, me and the system then that is the mark of a good side. They might be decent going forward but then I look at my forward options - Gareth Sheldon, Matty Birley, Callum Lloyd, Owen, Phil and Ryan. Say no more.”
Back-up striker Anthony Robinson is suspended but Jordan Smith is available for the opening week of the campaign before starting a three match ban.
King's Lynn (from): White, Magunda, Murray, Johnson, McAughtrie, Boyce, Story, Martin, Lloyd, Sheldon, Birley, Green, Smith, Webb, Beswick, Whatsize.