DARLINGTON manager Steve Watson has told his players to believe that they can win at King’s Lynn tomorrow.

Watson takes charge of his first game against another team that is struggling at the wrong end of the table. Quakers are second bottom, while the Linnets are seven points ahead of them in fourth-bottom spot.

“This is a winnable game,” said Watson, who has managed York in this league before, as well as Gateshead in the league above.

“The players have to believe that it is winnable. This is a very strange league because a lot of teams are very similar. It’s just that bit of quality and decision-making that will make a difference.

“We’ve got to ask more questions in our opponents’ penalty box and in their half, and making good decisions at the back and reading the game well. That’s stuff we’ve been working on in training, and we’ll continue doing that.

“We have to be optimistic, the players have to believe that we can.

“It’s okay me and my assistant, Terry Mitchell, saying it, but winning is achievable. The lads must believe that we can go there and get the three points.”


Quakers have failed to pick up a point in the three games since they won at Gloucester, a run of results which saw the departure of the previous management team of Josh Gowling and Danny Rose.

“The table doesn’t lie, we haven’t been good enough this season for one reason or another," continued Watson. "But they’re a good group of players to work with.

“It’s been back to basics a little bit this week, we went through the fundamentals but that’s what any manager would do when he starts a job.”

Watson has appointed the vastly experienced Mitchell as his number two, and they shared duties on the training pitch this week.

“Terry’s a very good coach and is a manager in his own right," he said. "He wouldn’t have come in just to help me get the cones out. It’s good for a manager to step back, and have a look from the outside. I’m still getting to know the players and what their strengths and weaknesses are, it’s good to be able to do that.”

Watson is keeping his team selection close to his chest, but he is almost certain to include new recruit Scott Barrow, who has signed on loan from York City for the rest of the season. The pair know each other from their times at Gateshead and York.

“Scott offers us quality and experience on the ball," said Watson. "He’s played in various positions in his career, and he’s been predominantly a left wing-back for me.

“He’s very good going forward, and he’s got a good delivery into the area. He can be a good attacking threat, even though he’s a full-back. He’s a very diligent defender, and his experience will help the lads alongside him.”

King’s Lynn have also changed managers this season, appointing Adam Lakeland after he left Curzon Ashton, and he was in charge of King’s Lynn when they won 2-1 at Blackwell Meadows back in September.

Quakers have lost on the only two previous occasions they have visited the Lawns, so they could do with reversing that trend tomorrow.