King’s Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse says the hard work starts now following his side’s crushing defeat at Hitchin on Saturday.
Lynn’s new boss was left stunned by an abject performance as his managerial career at The Walks began on a losing note with a 5-0 loss.
Culverhouse said: “Today was a day where everything accumulated against us over the 90 minutes.
“There are still ten games to go but the hard work starts now. We knew it would be tough and that Hitchin were a good side but there’s lots to be done.
“We will get this right and I can assure you that we will be challenging next year.”
A shell-shocked Culverhouse also apologised to the travelling fans after seeing his side crumble against the Canaries, saying: “We had a good crowd of supporters here today and I want to apologise to them as that wasn’t good enough.
“I want a team that wants to play with energy and passion and players who are really willing to work for the shirt.
“It’s important that I get that message across as today wasn’t acceptable.”
The Linnets found themselves 4-0 down at the interval and a furious Culverhouse said: “When you give away goals like we did first half, the game is gone.
“Whenever the ball went into our box, especially first half, we looked as though we were going to concede which shouldn’t happen.
“There is some work to be done. The ball forward wasn’t good enough and our forward play wasn’t good enough.
“We’ll wipe our chins, pull our pants up and get on with it on Thursday (in training).”
The former Norwich City defender, who took over in the hot seat on Wednesday, refused to use his arrival or the recent departures of Lee Stevenson and Dan Quigley as an excuse for what happened out on the pitch.
“It’s not about who is in charge, it’s about the players and it’s down to them.
“All I can do is guide them, as managers do, but it’s the players who will win and lose you games of football. Today wasn’t good enough all day long.”
On losing both Stevenson and Quigley, Lynn’s new boss said: “I’m not going to keep players who don’t want to be here.
“It’s about King’s Lynn Football Club, not certain individuals or past legends.
“If players don’t want to stay or play here, why should I give them a shirt?
“They both stood forward and told me that they didn’t want to be here, especially Stevo (Stevenson) who said that his loyalty remains with Gary (Setchell), so we move on.”
Culverhouse addressed the media for the first time on Thursday after being named as successor to Gary Setchell.
He admitted at being very excited by his new ‘project’ at The Walks.
Culverhouse said: I’m very excited. When Stephen (Cleeve) and I agreed to do this, I just couldn’t wait.
“I spoke to John Still at Dagenham and he gave me his blessing.
“It’s a massive football club around these parts and I couldn’t turn it down.
“The ambition of the football club is very, very attractive and it was the whole package that attracted me.
“I know the area very well. I’ve had good success in Norfolk, both coaching and playing.
“I can only see good things for this football club. It’s got a lot of legs and we need to ride it as far as we can.”
As well as wanting to be a number one, Bishops Stortford-based Culverhouse said the geography of the area had a huge impact on him taking the job.
“It was of massive appeal to me and the scope for recruitment is massive,” said Culverhouse.
“My remit is to get out to watch as many local games as possible. I want young, hungry players here to drive the club forward.”
Hitchin: Johnson, Smith, Bickerstaff, Rolfe (Walster 72), Webb, Wright, Spence, C Donnelly (B Donnelly 63), Kirkpatrick, Burns (Brooks 56), Lench. Subs: Bennett, Barnes. Scorers: C Donnelly 2, Burns 13, 47 Lench 24, Kirkpatrick 43.
Lynn: Street, Zielonka, Yong, Gaughran, Ward, Smith, Clunan, McWilliams (Edge h-t), Hilliard, Revan (R Fryatt 59), Warburton. Subs: Setchell, McQuaid, Congreve. Booked: McWilliams.