Farsley Celtic must keep punching above their weight says boss Adam Lakeland
IF THE evidence of this season has shown anything so far, it is that Farsley Celtic have the wherewithal to hit back hard after a setback or two.
It happened on two occasions in a congested August when Adam Lakeland’s side rallied from back-to-back National League North losses on two occasions.
After a hefty 5-0 home reverse in their last competitive fixture, an FA Cup mauling at the hands of Southport, so Farsley are seeking the right response as they belatedly play their first league game in October when they visit high-flying rivals Alfreton – just above them in the table – on Saturday.
If their riposte is anything like that of September when they posted four successive league wins after consecutive defeats at the end of August, then boss Lakeland won’t be complaining.
Even if he provides perspective to Farsley’s fine efforts so far in a campaign when they are surpassing expectations and currently lie in fifth spot in the table.
Lakeland, who was named as the division’s manger of the month for September, said: “It is a tough league and the run of fixtures we had in August was pretty relentless and we kind of looked at the fixtures and thought that points would be hard to come by.
“But we have settled in pretty well and probably the most pleasing thing is that when we have had a bit of a blip, we have bounced back and through September we put a run of consecutive league wins together.
“I think we are ahead of schedule. Although I think we have been ahead of expectations for the last two years, really. I don’t think anyone expected us to get in the play-offs in year one or win the title in year two.
“But we understand there is a long way to go and tough games ahead and cannot afford to get complacent.
“There are probably at least half a dozen full-time clubs and it makes it challenging. There are former Football League clubs and clubs with big budgets and expectations.
“Every day poses a different challenge.
“Our main priority is to stay in the division as the club has been down in the lower leagues for a long, long time.
“My aim when I came to Farsley was to get them into the Conference North and see where we went from there.
“I think this season is a case of sustaining our position in this league and if we can get anything more than that, then it is a bonus.”
Occupying the final play-off spot in seventh, Guiseley also hit the road on Saturday to AFC Telford, with their squad resources likely to be tested in Shropshire.
The Lions, whose draw with Altrincham last time out ended a run of successive defeats in league and cup, will again be without goal machine Aaron Martin, who serves the final game of his three-match ban.
Midfielder Jamie Spencer will also be suspended.
Joint-boss Russ O’Neill said: “We have a feel-good factor, but we are a little depleted for Saturday. We will be patching up the side for Telford, but we are full of belief in the whole group. We will be going there with confidence.
“We played a quarter of the season’s games in the first four weeks of the season, it was 10 games in the first four weeks.
“It’s just Saturday to Saturday now, players need to look after themselves and be ready for a different way again after playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday earlier in the season. They need to be adaptable.”
Mark Bower’s Bradford Park Avenue make the long trip to Gloucester on Saturday.