King’s Lynn Town open their Southern League season at home to Gosport Borough tomorrow with manager Ian Culverhouse telling his players to wear the shirt with pride.
Culverhouse has made a big impact on the Linnets’ squad over the summer and is demanding full commitment from his troops heading into the new campaign.
Nine new faces have arrived at The Walks over the close season and Culverhouse said: “I’ve brought in a few players to compliment the core group that we already had and I want them to be competitive.
“I’m excited for the new season. The chairman has backed me fully when it has come to bringing players in.
“There’s a long, hard campaign ahead. There are some very good teams in this league, but as long as we’re competitive in every game that’s all I can ask.
“This town deserves a team who are proud to wear the shirt and I hope the fans will see that on the pitch this season. We all want the same thing at the club.
“As a manager you are always going to be judged on the players you bring in and the proof will be in the pudding once the season begins.
“We want to be in the mix, but I’m not setting targets and won’t put the players under any kind of pressure. As far as I’m concerned the pressure is on me to get it right.”
Despite giving Linnets fans plenty of cause for fresh optimism, Culverhouse isn’t expecting instant success from his new-look squad.
“There is still lot of work to be done, nothing has been achieved yet,” admitted the Lynn boss.
“It’s about breaking down the season into quarters and picking up as many points as possible from each one.
“Our fitness levels are what they are, but it might take us up to six games to get into full stride.
“The first game of the season is always difficult and there are always some strange results on the opening day, but we’d love to start by picking up three points in front of our own fans.
“I know there will be a few bumps along the road and we have to be ready for that. It’s about staying together as a team and also as a squad.
“We won’t win anything with just 11 players. To mount any kind of challenge you have to have a squad that runs very deep.
“During the season when things aren’t going our way other players will get their chance. It’s about them seizing the opportunity when they do get the shirt.”
Debt-ridden Gosport Borough, who were relegated from the Conference South last season, have lost four of their six pre-season friendlies.
On Tuesday night, The Boro’ came from behind to beat Steve Claridge’s Salisbury 2-1 in their final outing of the summer.
Gosport are managed by Alex Pike who has been in the Privett Park dugout since 2005. During that time, they have won promotions as well as enjoying a lucrative FA Trophy run when they were runners-up in 2013/14.
Lynn’s only injury doubt for tomorrow is striker Craig Gillies who is expected to miss the game after having a cast put on his fractured wrist.