Linnets eager to get their minds back on the game

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Keith Webb insists it must be business as usual ahead of today's Blue Square North test against title-chasing Southport at The Walks (3pm).

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb insists it must be business as usual ahead of today's Blue Square North test against title-chasing Southport at The Walks (3pm).

Webb wants his players to move centre stage after a blank fortnight dominated by on-going financial turmoil and concerted efforts to beat the cold snap.

Club officials declared the pitch playable after a lunchtime inspection although a supporters' working party was expected to complete the clear up operation today after recent snowfalls.

Webb will then attempt to derail the Sandgrounders' championship push, having wrecked promotion rivals Gateshead's unbeaten run last time out.

"This will be every bit as tough as that game," said Webb. "They a big club and one of those who are clearly right in the mix to go up but we gave them a proper game at their place. I think from memory we scored first that day, they came back, and in the second half we pummelled them.

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"What they have is the knack which we are striving for - to become more consistent. The sides at the top of this league have the ability to grind out results perhaps when they have not played well or maybe even deserved it.

"We've got ourselves into those similar situations and then either missed our chance through not having a bit of luck or the quality."

Webb's only selection dilemma is whether to restore fit-again keeper Scott Howie after Rob Murray deputised for the experienced stopper in Lynn's previous three league games. Defender Greg Crane begins the first of a four-match ban for his sending off against Blyth.

"I've got a tough decision with the keepers," said Webb. "Scott is now fit but Rob has done well so it's something I need to ponder. With the break we've had all the lads are fighting fit so I don't think we'll tinker too much with the outfield players."

Webb will again put his faith in midfield wide boys Scott Mitchell and Michael Frew after eye-catching displays against Gateshead.

"Scott is not an out and out winger but he is a midfielder who knows what is required in that role," he said. "He loves to come off the line and has good energy levels so he can get involved in the play.

"I was absolutely delighted with Michael's performance. That was probably the best I've seen him this season mainly because he kept it simple. We didn't need to see the flicks or the off-the-cuff stuff. All he tried to do was play good football.

"Mark Peters and Andy Johnson got a lot of the attention but I thought he was right up there. I think he has been our most consistent player."

Lynn's playing staff held clear-the-air talks with vice-chairman Tim Coates in midweek as the board step up their hunt for new investment.

"There's a good bunch of lads and they know what the situation is," said Webb. "The current process was explained to them and now they must get their heads down until the club can sort something out. "

Southport's match winner in the corresponding fixture, Ciarain Kilheeney, is ruled out with an ankle injury. Defender Kevin Lee is suspended.

King's Lynn (from): Howie, Chapman, Graham, Thomas, Peters, Camm, Frew, Hurren, Mitchell, Johnson, Fisk, Smith, Defty, Joachim, Francis, Murray.

BlueSq match odds: King's Lynn 5/2, Southport 5/6, Draw 5/2