Hughes urges Linnets to bounce back from disappointment

King’s Lynn Town go into tonight’s away game on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Chester on Saturday.

Tonight the Linnets travel to Manchester side Curzon Ashton who are currently lying third in the National League North, having gained a win and draw from their first two games.

King’s Lynn, on the other hand, have just a single point from their opener at home to Hereford last weekend, whilst Linnets manager Mark Hughes will want Saturday’s defeat consigned to oblivion despite having started the game in a confident enough fashion.

Mark Hughes applauds the Lynn fans at the end of the game. Photo: Tim Smith
Mark Hughes applauds the Lynn fans at the end of the game. Photo: Tim Smith

Hughes said: “We’ve gifted the first goal and reacted really well to that. We stamped our foot on the game and passed the ball fairly well, and limited their chances. So, at half time I wasn’t too disappointed.

“The manner of the second and third goals – really disappointing.

“We threw the kitchen sink at them, putting on three strikers in the end.

“But it wasn’t our day and credit to Chester. They were well organised, they came third last year.

“They got their goals and what happens in both boxes counts and it was certainly their day.”

With both regular goalkeepers out injured, Hughes brought in Ronnie Sandford who was signed from MK Dons last week – and what a baptism of fire it turned out to be for the young keeper.

Hughes said: “Yeah, it’s tough. Look, it’s a learning environment for Ronnie.

“I thought with his feet he was excellent. We controlled the possession from the back to midfield and we had our chances. If you take the goals out of it and you watch that game back you would never say it was 3-0.

“The reality of it is, we’re going to pick ourselves up and, as Adrian said in the changing room, no better thing than a Tuesday game to get our teeth into and get that first win of the season.”

Ronnie Sandford in his Linnet debut on Saturday. Photo: Tim Smith
Ronnie Sandford in his Linnet debut on Saturday. Photo: Tim Smith

Returning to the subject of the new keeper, Hughes said Sandford had been training with the club during the week as cover for the injured Tommy Dixon-Hodge and Paul Jones, the latter having had stitches in his foot after last Saturday’s game at The Walks.

Hughes said: “Ronnie’s been training with us. It was a tough game to come into, but he’s learning, he’s a good lad.

“Look, he’s got to pick himself up for Tuesday. How we deal with disappointment is how our season’s going to shape.

“Tough away games, there’s probably going to be not many tougher than this one.

“But I saw a lot of pleasing performances. Individually there’s good performances in there, there’s good phases of play, there’s good chances. We just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“And as naïve as that sounds, there’s a lot to work on. I thought, again, the boys that came on made an impact, which is pleasing.

“I’ll have to sit down with the staff and what we’re going to go with Tuesday. Look, it goes without saying we’ve got to bounce back on Tuesday night. We’ve got to bounce back from that defeat.”

Hughes said that with facing Hereford, Chester and Curzon Ashton, it was always going to be a trick start to the season.

Looking to that game tonight at Curzon, Hughes said that keeper Jones could be back for Tuesday although he cast some doubt as the stitches are in his kicking foot. Dixon-Hodge is expected to be out for another two weeks. So he said it could be another opportunity for young Sandford to shine.

Hughes added: “We’ve just got to make sure we bounce back and not be too disappointed. The benefit for us is we’ll analyse it on Monday and we’ll train and we’ll get prepared and go to Curzon looking for a positive result.”