Webb puts positive spin on run of draws

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Keith Webb insists his men have the mental strength to open their Blue Square North winning account today at play-off hopefuls Stalybridge Celtic (3pm).

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb insists his men have the mental strength to open their Blue Square North winning account today at play-off hopefuls Stalybridge Celtic (3pm).

Webb is confident a club record five opening league draws on the spin has not sapped his squad's desire to bag a maiden Conference league victory.

“Of course you can't dismiss the mental side of it,” he said. “But it's my job to make sure that doesn't become an issue. The boys were a little down after the Hinckley game but they have to realise we've gone up a league and it takes time. We are going to lose games - every team will - but we are three points off fourth place.

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“I prefer to look at the bigger picture. Yes, we've drawn five matches but when was the last time King's Lynn lost a game in the league? You have to go back to Hemel Hempstead which was early January. Tell me when the club last had a run like that.

“Sometimes it's a case of not seeing the wood for the trees. I know there might be supporters who are focussing on the short term but you have to get that balance right.”

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Webb admitted the club's bizarre start to the new campaign is now a real test of character for his squad.

“I've certainly never experienced anything like it in my time,” he said.

“I've seen enough games now to see how the majority of the teams in this league like to operate. They've looked to turn us and play in behind. It's difficult to get the ball down and play. In this division you definitely have to earn the right. We are still trying to do that - maybe not from the back like Droylsden - but that is the aim. We just need a second goal in games to relax us. We conceded a poor goal against Hinckley and we had to pick them up again at the break.

“We managed to get back in it with the penalty but didn't seem to have enough left to go on. I don't know whether that was a case of two games in three days but we've got four in ten coming up. I can't fault the effort. They are giving me all they can so I've no qualms on that score.”

Linnets' old boy Adam Smith is included in the travelling after completing his move from League One Peterborough. Midfielder John Turner is also drafted back into Webb's squad for the first time this season after being unavailable for the opening weeks of the campaign.

Webb admits his major selection dilemma is whether to recall Simon Weaver following his recent double head injury with skipper Greg Crane due to serve a suspension after this afternoon's trip to Bower Fold.

“Simon still has scar tissue on his head,” said Webb. “The problem is if he gets cut again then we end up losing him for another spell. With Craney out I'm going to need to have two centre halves to slot in so it's a situation I have to play a little differently than I would normally because we can't afford to lose two defenders at the same time.

“JT and Smudger come into the squad so we will take 18 up to Stalybridge. Then it's a case of sitting down with Lee (Glover) and deciding if we want to freshen things up again.”

Stalybridge bid for their first home league win of the season after picking up a point from a tough double header against title rivals AFC Telford and Southport in the opening month.

t Lynn (from): Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Peters, Crane, Bridgwater, Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty, Camm, Francis, Joachim, Bloomfield, C Defty, Fisk, Murray, Turner, Smith.

t Read Mark Hearle's exclusive behind-the-scenes club column every Thursday only on edp24 .co.uk/ kingslynn

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