Webb issues challenge to his players

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Keith Webb has challenged his frontmen to outshine Gateshead hot-shot Lee Novak in today's Blue Square North encounter at The Walks (3pm).

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb has challenged his frontmen to outshine Gateshead hot-shot Lee Novak in today's Blue Square North encounter at The Walks (3pm).

Novak is set to discuss personal terms with League One Huddersfield ahead of Monday's transfer window deadline after the Terriers agreed a reported six-figure fee with the north east title contenders.

Town boss and ex-Norwich assistant manager Lee Clark ran the rule over the 17-goal striker in Gateshead's midweek league win over Workington that propelled Ian Bogie's side up to second spot.

Webb has no special plans to shackle the highly rated 20-year-old but insists his own misfiring attack can end the club's 11-game wait for a league win.

"We will just try to stop the supply line," said Webb. "It's a similar situation to when the boy Beckett came here recently with Gainsborough and he didn't score that day. Obviously he's a very good player. I saw him when we went there and I've heard plenty about him as well.

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"It doesn't take that long for word to get round at our level. I just think it's time for our boys to stick their hands up. They have fired in fits and starts this season and proved they can score at this level but that has been our problem - inconsistency."

Webb backs his players to arrest the club's alarming free-fall to the fringes of the relegation shake-up.

"We know the situation and we are under no illusions," he said. "The Tamworth result in midweek flattered them but that doesn't matter. They got the points, we didn't. We have to scratch out a win any way we can get it. We went with a system to match Tamworth at their place but we're at home now and the onus is on us to take the game to them.

"I have never sent out a team in my life with the intention of drawing a game. You look at the opposition, ask your players to combat their shape, and you hope within that they are capable of causing the other team problems.

"This game has always been about players. It's important they keep the belief because we knew that coming up a level our mistakes would be punished. They all need to stand up now."

Experienced keeper Scott Howie (groin) will undergo a late fitness test after missing the club's last three games. Defender Greg Crane is available for his final game before a three match suspension for his recent red card against Blyth.

Webb is braced for another rough ride after being barracked by a section of Lynn's long suffering away support at Tamworth.

"Just get behind the boys," he said. "Let's get that result we all want and then if it doesn't happen and they want to vent their spleen then do it at me. I've got no problem with that. I can handle it, but it does no good to get on the players' backs.

"For me, I don't believe they feel inhibited or are going out at home with any fear. I can only think of probably the Burscough game and the first half against Blyth when you could say maybe that looked the case.

"King's Lynn is a hard place to play football. You have to be able to handle the expectation. In the pro game the last thing away managers will say is silence the crowd.

"That is always the first objective. So for me the opposite is true. If we can give them something to grab hold of early on they are the best supporters in the league."

Gateshead chairman Graham Wood confirmed a club record deal for Novak is imminent, but the former Newcastle Blue Star striker will stay to spearhead their promotion push as part of any proposed transfer.

"There should be some movement over the next few days," he said. "There has been a lot of interest but whatever happens Lee will stay at Gateshead for the rest of the season."

Former Lynn defender Simon Weaver could face his old club next month after Blue Square rivals Redditch revealed they are in talks.

Lynn released the 31-year-old last week but Reds' boss Gary Whild is interested in the experienced defender after a midweek run out for Mansfield's second string.