Taylor promises normal service

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor dismisses the prospect of a phoney war breaking out today against Southern League Premier Division play-off rivals Bath City.

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor dismisses the prospect of a phoney war breaking out today against Southern League Premier Division play-off rivals Bath City.

Both clubs have already secured a bank holiday Monday semi-final at home to either Chippenham or Bedford ahead of this afternoon's regular-season climax at The Walks.

Romans boss John Relish hinted at resting key personnel during the build-up, but Taylor is more bullish about his 'stick-or-twist' dilemma with a potential final on home turf in sight if they avoid defeat.

"Finishing second is massive," he insisted. "We certainly won't be going through the motions. I don't want to approach Monday's game on a downer - knowing if we win that one we are away in the final. I'm after every advantage going in the play-offs. This club is three victories from promotion so we will look to play our normal way.

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"If Bath choose not to put out their best side then good luck to them, but how many teams set out not to win a game of football? If everything had been done and dusted I would've rested the front two lads. I'll change things straight away if we get ourselves in a good position - until that point I'll put out my best side.

"You can't afford to worry about resting players and injuries - lads can just as easily pull something during a warm-up."

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Influential defender Grant Cooper (hamstring) will undergo a rigorous fitness test under the watchful eye of Taylor before returning to the starting line-up.

"We can't afford to have him break down or come off during the game because he'll be no use to us in the play-offs," said Taylor. "The treatment has gone well, but I want to see for myself so Coops will be reporting early. He hasn't trained with the lads this week and we need to assess his general fitness. Danny (Hammond) has done a great job for me - I'll have no qualms about playing him."

Keeper Arron Benstead (back) is set to return to the squad. Taylor confirmed midfield general Sam McMahon will start against the Romans with Charlie Defty likely to replace the suspended skipper for Monday's semi-final.

Lynn's boss is backing his squad to thrive in the pressure-cooker play-off atmosphere - including the dreaded prospect of penalty kicks.

"At this stage it's all about who has the bottle," he said. "These type of games bring a little extra out of players. I don't think fatigue is going to be a factor and that's where crowds can play their part. Being around the top of the league is one thing, but for some of our lads they are preparing for the biggest games of their careers.

"I'm looking forward to these matches. I'll be biting my nails during them, but as soon as one is over I can't wait for the next one.

"You need character to come through and penalty kicks are no different. I'm not going to put the boys under any extra pressure by asking for penalty takers. I know which ones I expect to step up to the plate, but I don't think it'll go that far."

King's Lynn (from): Higgs, Benstead, West, Jones, Harvey, Smith, McMahon, Cooper, Hammond, Camm, J Defty, C Defty, Peters, Anselin, Nolan, Carey, O'Halloran, Hyde, Charles.

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