Webb: We haven't cracked promotion yet
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Keith Webb warned yesterday the hard graft starts now after blowing the Southern League, Premier Division title race wide open.
King's Lynn boss Keith Webb warned yesterday the hard graft starts now after blowing the Southern League, Premier Division title race wide open.
Lynn crushed leaders Team Bath 4-0 at Twerton Park on Tuesday to move into second spot - one point behind the Students who still have a game in hand over their main championship rivals.
Webb's men host Team Bath at The Walks in April but the Linnets' chief wants no slip ups against relegation-threatened Hitchin this weekend.
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“I don't want anyone looking at league tables and thinking we've cracked it,” he said. “That would be absolutely horrendous. We've already told the players the Team Bath results counts for nothing if we don't do the business against Hitchin. They've picked up recently so we know they won't roll over.
“Now's not the time for people to go over the top. We need to keep calm because I was taught very early on in this game that you're never as good or bad as you think. That's a philosophy I brought into the job. We'll keep the players' feet on the ground and it's important everyone connected with the club does the same. We just need to steady the ship.”
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Webb admitted Lynn's demolition job could inflict major psychological damage on the leaders.
“The result does turn things in our favour again,” he said. “But it's only three points although the margin of the win doesn't do our goal difference any harm. I've had a few satisfying results since coming here and that was right up there, but we've still got 12 games left - there's a long way to go. If you look at Team Bath's run in, it's what we've just had to contend with. They play the likes of Chippenham, Gloucester, Halesowen and ourselves again - all teams with something to play for.”
Webb's tactical masterplan suffocated the free scoring Students. Shaun Carey, Greg Crane and John Turner were all drafted into the starting line up as Lynn went like-for-like.
“After watching them the previous week I felt we needed to match up 4-5-1,” he said. “They had a big strong left winger - 6ft 2in or 6ft 3in - and an aggressive little left back. It was important we shaped up to deal with that. They play three in the middle of the park and without being detrimental to the lads we have in there I didn't think we'd have enough so we changed it.
“We had a big, powerful side out. It was probably the first time I've gone in with the confidence that we could really handle the physical side because a lot of teams in this division rely on that.”
Webb praised Lynn's troops for carrying his tactics to the letter and keeping their discipline after the hosts were reduced to ten men for Matt Lock's lunge on Ben Sedgemore.
“It's very difficult to single out any one in particular - they were all different class,” he said. “The dressing room was buzzing as you can imagine. I think the second goal was important because they had to come out and chase the game and we could then hit them on the break.
“We just had a little bit more experience and know how. Apart from the first 15 minutes of the second half they didn't really put us under too much pressure. I don't want to make a song and dance about it but the referee missed quite a few niggly things that were happening off the ball. He sent one guy off but another two could easily have gone.”
Stand in skipper Greg Crane was restored to central defence alongside Cambridge United loan signing Gavin Hoyte to snuff out the threat of 28-goal league top gun Sean Canham.
“The two centre halves were immense,” said Webb. “Gavin has come in and given us a presence. He's a great size and has the pace as well. It was a tough shout to bring Craney straight back, but he has been playing out of his skin. Rikki Bains played ever so well at the weekend but we switched him to right back. He's here for a month and we'll assess the situation again nearer the time his loan is up.”