GUISELEY captain Ash Palmer has hailed the clarity of thought and uncomplicated approach of manager Paul Cox, who he believes is starting to make his impact felt at Nethermoor.
The Lions may, in the words of the fiercely ambitious Cox, only be at ‘the tip of the iceberg’ under his watch, but signs of definitive progress are increasingly evident after two months in the post.
Off the pitch, the club have already made a significant statement in pushing forward plans to go full-time and on it, the players are increasingly buying into the ethos of Cox, if recent results are anything to go by.
After securing their first National League win of the Cox regime at home to Solihull Moors on October 21, the Lions followed up with another milestone success to claim their first away league triumph under their manager seven days later at Woking to move out of the relegation positions.
Another positive step duly arrived in Sunday’s FA Cup first-round Roses stalemate with League 2 side Accrington Stanley.
In the process, Guiseley became just the second side this season to stop the League Two high-fliers from finding the net and can head over the Pennines for the replay at the Wham Stadium next Tuesday with a quiet amount of confidence after having much the better of the first installment.
Guiseley’s work ethic, defensive resolve and commitment was pronounced as was their physical prowess up front and aerial threat – and on Sunday’s evidence, it was easy to comprehend why they have lost just twice in 12 games under Cox, who has made them hard to beat and well organised.
Palmer acknowledged: “We need to keep doing what we are doing, which is playing with a high tempo and keeping positive and hopefully reaping the rewards.
“Since the gaffer has come in, he has made everything really simplistic and clearly told everyone what he wants them to do and the lads are buying into it. We are going in the right direction.
“He has been really good since he has come in.
Since the gaffer has come in, he has made everything really simplistic and clearly told everyone what he wants them to do and the lads are buying into it. We are going in the right direction.Guiseley captain, Ash Palmer
“He has not made anything too difficult and everyone is working hard and getting on with it and we are gelling and coming together.”
Only an outstanding goalkeeping display by Accrington custodian Aaron Chapman prevented Guiseley from making history by confirming a place in the second round of the FA Cup at the seventh time of asking.
That may have to wait, but Palmer believes that earning a replay still represented a very noteworthy result against a side who have enjoyed a fine opening third of the 2017-18 campaign.
Palmer, who did his bit to help Guiseley secure their second clean sheet in three matches, added: “Their keeper made some very good saves and we huffed and puffed, but did not get there in the end.
“But we will take a replay and a draw and a clean sheet is a good result and we are happy with that.
“In the first 20 minutes, they stretched us a bit and it took us a while to get used to their shape, but after that, we regrouped and did well.
“We have been putting pressure on a lot of teams in the past few weeks and it has been working for us, so we don’t really need to change anything.”
Guiseley will travel to former Leeds United boss Steve Evans’ Mansfield Town in the second round of the FA Cup – if they win their replay with Accrington.