‘Impatient’ manager Cox happy to take small steps

Alex-Ray Harvey, right.
Alex-Ray Harvey, right.
0
Have your say

NOT normally the most patient of individuals by his own admission, Guiseley manager Paul Cox admits he is learning to be a little bit more stoic these days.

In terms of on-pitch results so far, his reign at Nethermoor has been solid, as opposed to spectacular in his quest to haul the Lions up the National League table, although progress has certainly been made.

Off the pitch, there have been seismic strides with the club having made the decision to bring forward plans to go full-time, while a raft of new signings have arrived to realign the club’s squad, with the Lions’ latest newcomer arriving yesterday in the shape of former Barrow midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey.

The Burnley-born player, 26 – Cox’s eighth signing as manager – is in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Woking.

In what has been a transitional period for the club, results are yet to arrive with the consistency that Cox would like, although he has been pleased with a haul of four points from the last six available in a four-match unbeaten sequence in all competitions and a run of just two defeats in the Lions’ last ten games.

Gloss would be provided if the fourth-from-bottom Lions could secure a precious three points with their first away success of the season at fifth-placed Woking tomorrow, but Cox – for one – is looking at the bigger picture ahead.

Cox, who will be without former Halifax midfielder Will Hatfield tomorrow, who has added to the club’s lengthy injury list with a groin issue, said: “My biggest frustration is that in terms of where we are and when I want us to be; there’s a massive gulf.

“I am not really a patient person and want all things done yesterday!

“But experience tells me that this was never going to happen overnight in terms of the way we play, getting results and changing certain things at the club that did need changing for us to progress.

“There has been an awful lot to juggle and sleepless nights and a lot of hard work to come and more sleepless nights to improve even more. But we have done okay in such a short space of time.”

On his side’s recent form, he added: “I think, looking at it, it is a period where we have got to be quite pleased. There’s a million and one things we can get better at, but it is now two defeats in ten, which has been steady and probably better than I expected because of the amount of things that have had to be done in a short space of time.

“Going full-time and making big decisions, with nine sitting out at the minute on the injured list who are good players, and with the pressurised games we have played in, the work ethic of the players has been very good and something to build on.

“Given all the injuries, I am also pleased that the boys have showed the mindset that they have in picking up some half-decent results in a short space of time.”

Cox confirmed that Danny Lowe could be in the fray tomorrow, with Callum McFadzean back in non-contact training.

FC Halifax, without a win in six games in all competitions, visit Tranmere tomorrow.

*****

NATIONAL League North leaders Harrogate Town will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to mid-table Alfreton Town tomorrow.

Simon Weaver’s men currently lead Salford City by two points having played a game more than their Lancastrian rivals but Town had to settle for successive draws on home turf against Leamington (2-2) and Bradford Park Avenue (1-1) in their last two games.

Town have picked up six victories on the bounce away from home this year, which is a big reason why they are the top of the league and Weaver’s side have scored two or more goals in every away game this campaign.

Tomorrow could see former Alfreton players Brendon Daniels, Tom Platt, Luke Shiels and Chris Elliott line up against their former club, with the latter three making a combined total of 84 appearances in Town colours last season.

For Alfreton, Joe Leesley and Terry Kennedy are likely to come up against their former employers as well with Weaver having no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game.

Park Avenue themselves can do Harrogate a favour if they can beat second-placed Salford at the Horsfall Stadium tomorrow.

It’s first round qualifying day in the FA Trophy tomorrow and Farsley Celtic face a tough challenge at home to South Shields.

Celtic currently sit in fourth spot in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division and hit back to earn a well deserved point in a 3-3 draw with Ashton United in midweek.

Celtic manager Adam Lakeland is well aware his side need to step up their game tomorrow.

He said: “We have to improve and we will, that’s for sure, but we’re still in an excellent position and I’m proud of the way the lads are fighting for every point.

“We have a tough yet exciting game in the FA Trophy on Saturday against South Shields.”

Elsewhere in the Trophy, Frickley Athletic travel to Ashton United and Ossett Town host Droylsden.

In the Integro League Cup first round, Tadcaster Albion entertain Ossett Albion tomorrow.

******

FRESH from their 3-2 victory over AFC Mansfield on Tuesday night, Premier Division leaders Pontefract Collieries face a tricky home clash with fourth-placed Handsworth Parramore.

Second-placed Pickering Town, who cruised to a 9-2 victory at Harrogate Railway in midweek, host Hall Road Rangers and could move top if Pontefract slip up.

Elsewhere, eighth-placed Hemsworth MW play host to Athersley Recreation, Garforth Town entertain Barton Town, Liversedge play at home to Penistone Church and Harrogate Railway travel to Maltby Main.

In Division One, runaway leaders Knaresborough Town – currently nine points clear of secon-placed Grimsby Borough with a game in hand – will look to make it nine wins out of nine at home when they host Hallam tomorrow.

Third-placed Yorkshire Amateur were overtaken by Grimsby in midweek but could regain second spot with victory at rock-bottom Brigg Town.

Elsewhere in Division One tomorrow, fifth-placed Selby Town travel to fourth-placed Campion, 10th-placed AFC Emley play at Winterton Rangers, Glasshoughton Welfare play at Rossington Main and Nostell Miners Welfare travel to Ollerton Town.

Paul Cox.

Liburd at the double to lift Guiseley out of relegation zone

Alex-Ray Harvey, right

Lions boss Cox goes back to Barrow to snap up midfielder Harvey