King’s Lynn Town v Holbeach United (Boxing Day, 3pm): JOHN Chand is convinced that his Tigers will revel on the big stage as the UCL Premier Division’s top two prepare to slug it out at The Walks.
Second-placed Holbeach couldn’t come into the Boxing Day bash in better form, having reeled off eight wins on the trot.
Leaders Lynn have dropped just five points all season and have won their last six – but have looked increasingly laboured in recent weeks.
With close to 1,000 fans expected to take in the game, Chand hopes the league appoint a strong referee.
The Holbeach boss said: “I’ve spoken to a lot of people that have been to The Walks this season and they tell me that the crowd usually influence the referee.
“It’s first versus second, you don’t want the game to be decided by the official. All we’re asking for is a level playing field, so hopefully they’ll appoint the strongest referee they can.
“I have a huge amount of respect for Lynn and what they’re trying to achieve as a club. Going to play there is always a great experience, but I feel we’ve got the players to win.
“We’re the sort of side that like to play football on a good pitch. I feel we can create chances against anyone, it’s just a matter of taking them.
“The game couldn’t come at a better time for us.”
Chand, who admits he’ll now be disappointed if his side don’t finish at least in the top six, is braced for a three-game run that is likely to shape Holbeach’s expectations for the season.
With home dates against unbeaten title favourites Long Buckby (December 31) and sixth-placed St Ives (January 2) to come, the Tigers are approaching make or break time for their championship hopes.
They go into the festive feast of football with a clean bill of health, with skipper Jamie Stevens expected to shake off a knee problem.
And their ranks could be bolstered by the potential signing of Spalding United striker Simon Mowbray. Chand has put a seven-day notice of approach for the ex-Tiger, but isn’t convinced he’ll make the move across the South Holland divide for the second time in six months.
Chand added: “Mobes would do a great job for us, but I’m not sure he’ll want to fight for his place here.
“It’s up to him, perhaps we’re a more attractive proposition than we were in the summer. Anybody that comes here would have to be prepared to battle for their place.
“If we can come through the next three games unscathed I may have to adjust our aim for the season. As it stands, we’re well on course for the top six.”
Despite their recent wobbles, which include home scares against Wellingborough and Yaxley, Lynn’s league form has been nothing short of phenomenal.
They haven’t lost in the UCL since a 1-0 reverse to Long Buckby back in September and have won their last ten league games on the trot.
But they may be without club captain Ross Watson and talismanic striker Jack Defty, who are both struggling with injuries.
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