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King’s Lynn Town boss praises fans and slams former loan player





Linnets manager Adam Lakeland has praised fans after securing his first home win as manager against Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday evening.

As he prepares his squad for the visit of Blyth Spartans on Saturday, Lakeland said the supporters have ‘blown him away’ – and the boss also took a parting swipe at a loan player who he has sent back to his parent club.

Following the dramatic 3-2 home National League North home win, Lakeland said: “I have been blown away by the support for this club, particularly when we’ve gone to away games, especially for the South Shields game. The weather last Friday was awful and the A1 was terrible, so for there to be so many fans there, clapping the lads off despite a defeat, we are really grateful for that.

Lynn fans celebrate after the late winner
Lynn fans celebrate after the late winner
Quaine Bartley
Quaine Bartley

“We will work hard to turn around our fortunes, not just for ourselves, but for them as it is their club.”

Lakeland was less than happy with 19-year-old AFC Wimbledon loanee Quaine Bartley, however, and has cancelled his season-long loan from the League Two Club.

He said about the powerful striker: “Quaine is not the type of player or person that I want to be associated with. I sent him back and he will not be coming back here, simple as that. He said he was ill (for the Darlington away game on October 14) and unable to train but then we learnt that he was in Dubai.

Former Lynn manager Mark Hughes is now the assistant manager at Bishop's Stortford
Former Lynn manager Mark Hughes is now the assistant manager at Bishop's Stortford

“For a professional footballer who is in a privileged position, that is unacceptable behaviour and obviously he is not our player so however his club deals with him is up to them, but they know we don’t want him back here.”

Another player leaving The Walks is midfielder Sion Spence, with Lakeland adding: “He realised that his opportunities were going to be limited and there was interest from Havant who are 90 minutes closer to where he lives. Sometimes you just have to do what is right for the player.

“Now we have freed up the budget and maybe we can utilise the funds elsewhere when we see the right opportunity to bring somebody in.”

But the manager is in no hurry to add to the squad: “There’s always a possibility of lads coming in, there’s always a chance of others moving out, but what I will say is, when I first came in we had 26 outfield players training with the group and that was an unsustainable number.

Josh Coulson celebrates
Josh Coulson celebrates

“The quality of training was diluted and the core group of senior players were not getting enough out of it so we decided to whittle that group down. Some of them are young lads who are now training more with the U23s and we are trying to get them out on loan as they are now going to learn and develop just by training.

“Plus we’ve sent a couple of loan lads back who we felt were not what we needed so we have a more manageable group now but you’ve always got to be looking to improve so we always have one eye on what is available.

“The difficulty is as a manager is you get offered so many players by clubs higher up the pyramid trying to get players out on loan, and by agents, and it’s probably the most difficult part of the job, particularly when you’re in a season, plus lads who are contracted mean transfer fees which is difficult in this current climate.

Adam Crowther in action
Adam Crowther in action

“So we might have to be patient, but the lads we have now in this group and working hard, are receptive to how we want them to work and they are getting better.”

On Tuesday’s win against Stortford, who now have recently-sacked former Lynn manager Mark Hughes as their assistant, he added: “It feels good but we did make hard work of it. Credit to the players though, as it would have been very easy to feel sorry for ourselves after conceding that second goal, but we kept a set play alive to win the game and hopefully that will kickstart our season now.

“I’m chuffed to bit for the lads as I think everyone can see the commitment, the work rate and the competitiveness is there – and they care. And I’m pleased for the supporters too after a bad start to the season.

Lynn fans celebrate
Lynn fans celebrate

“It’s important we don’t get carried away as it is just one win and we have got a hell of a lot of work to do. We now need to find a consistency of performances and results.

“There is so much work to do still and so much improvement to make but we will do it. We will keep on working hard every day and getting better week by week.

“We are becoming more resilient and I see that daily in training. Whether it’s head tennis, shuttles or small-sided games, we make everything competitive in training as I believe you have to train as you play.

“I’ve always trained my players hard and it has brought me success. The running data that we collect is getting better all the time which shows we are going in the right direction. When I came in I said we needed to get fitter and that is still the case but we are getting there.”

Bartosz Cybulski heads in Lynns first goal
Bartosz Cybulski heads in Lynns first goal

Substitute Billy Jones made the winning goal for fellow sub Jack Smith and Lakeland added: “It highlights the importance of everyone within the group because they all will be needed and they are all valued. If you are not starting the game you have to have the right attitude and be ready to come on and make an impact and Smudge and Billy have done that.”

Lakeland also praised midfielder George Morrisson, who along with defender Billy Jones is on loan from League One outfit Fleetwood Town.

Kyle McFadden shows his delight at the final whistle
Kyle McFadden shows his delight at the final whistle

“George ran himself into the ground on Tuesday and he has a bright future ahead of him. He only turned 18 on Sunday and his performances so far have been unbelievable. He has shown energy, commitment, work rate, endeavour and attitude.

“He has got things to improve on but that’s why these young lads come to clubs like us so they can learn on the job. I’ve had some good players from Fleetwood at my last two clubs.”

Bartosz Cybulski celebrates
Bartosz Cybulski celebrates

He was also impressed with striker Bartosz Cybulski’s performance on Tuesday evening. “There’s no point being the size of Bartosz and being as mobile and athletic as he is and then being a pussycat. He has got to use his size to his advantage, but he’s only a young lad learning the game and developing and hopefully, we can help him do that.

“He’s put a right shift in for us every time he has put the shirt on and I am really pleased for him to get his goal and hopefully now he will score a few more.”

A minute's silence in memory of Bobby Charlton
A minute's silence in memory of Bobby Charlton
George Morrison on the ball
George Morrison on the ball
George Morrison gets stuck in
George Morrison gets stuck in
Jack Smith fires in Lynn's late winner
Jack Smith fires in Lynn's late winner
George Morrison celebrates
George Morrison celebrates
Josh Coulson (left of photo) fires in Lynn's second goal
Josh Coulson (left of photo) fires in Lynn's second goal
Bartosz Cybulski on the ball
Bartosz Cybulski on the ball
Celebrations as Lynn score a late winner
Celebrations as Lynn score a late winner


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