MARK BOWER is praying it’s a case of ‘home sweet home’ at long last for Guiseley tomorrow.
The Lions last took the field at Nethermoor seven weeks ago in their Skrill North draw with Altrincham on December 21, with the inclement weather having ensured all home matches have been postponed since then.
The upshot is that Bower’s side are playing catch-up in a big way with their divisional rivals, but with that, brings an opportunity, especially with four of their next five league appointments scheduled to be on home soil.
The run starts, weather permitting, against lowly Worcester City tomorrow, with Bower without suspended defender Danny Ellis and injured centre-half Danny Hall, who will miss at least couple of games with a hamstring strain.
Bower, who still harbours hopes of his tenth-placed side gatecrashing the play-offs, despite back-to-back losses at Telford and Barrow, said: ”The last four league games have been away and all but one have been against teams above us in the league, so it’s been difficult.
“We’ve taken six points from those games, which while not the best return, certainly isn’t the worst.
“Now we have a bit of run of home games and we’ve had some good wins here against some decent sides as well. Obviously, it’s also easier playing in front of your home fans with your support behind you and you are familiar with your surroundings.
“We are certainly targeting these games, especially the Tuesday night games at home, which can make a big difference for us as despite the few losses, we are still in touch. With a good run, we can put pressure on those teams at the top.”
Bemoaning their spate of recent postponements on home soil and anxious to avoid another, he added: “It just think it’s been the sheer volume of rain and we seem to have had either a bucketload on the day before the game or a load on the day. We’ve been very unfortunate. I am sure if we’d have had a game scheduled for Tuesday, it would have gone ahead without a problem at all.
“The lads have only managed to get on the pitch for about two minutes before the Stalybridge game got called off. So I’d like to think it at least we won’t have had much damage in the last five or six weeks. If it can dry out, we might have a decent surface to play on in comparison to the surfaces we have played on in the last two league games, which have not helped at all, in terms of how we like to play.”
And on Worcester, he added: “Worcester may be towards the bottom of the table, but have won four of their last five games, including wins at Altrincham and Solihull, so we certainly won’t be underestimating them.
“I know they were beaten quite heavily at Bradford Park Avenue five of six weeks back. But since then, they’ve brought in a few new faces, who have made a big difference.”