MARCUS BIGNOT admits that Guiseley’s management team have been handed some welcome food for thought ahead of tomorrow’s National League North home test with high-flying Kidderminster Harriers.
Added gloss to a strong second-half display in last weekend’s FA Cup win over Stourbridge arrived in the sight of substitutes Kaine Felix and Lewis Walters finding the net, providing the Lions management with some nice selection dilemmas up front, much to the satisfaction of Bignot.
The joint Lions boss said: “We were buoyed ahead of the (Stourbridge) game by players returning to training and they looked physically and mentally strong and we always felt that we had the ability to change it from the bench tactically to make a difference – and that proved to be the case.
“We were absolutely delighted by seeing performances in training translate to the pitch.
“Because of the injuries we have had and running on such a small squad, the team has been kind of picking itself.
“We were getting results and are continuing to and are getting performances. But the re-introduction of players, slowly but surely, coming into the fold and nursing them back, means we are starting to create that little bit of competition now.
“It is just nice to have our attacking options available to some degree.”
After booking a place in the first round of the Cup, with Guiseley’s reward being a home tie with League Two strugglers Cambridge United, the Lions have the chance to extend the feel-good factor in successive Nethermoor games with Kidderminster and Blyth Spartans.
And Bignot believes that mid-table Guiseley are in a good place to make inroads up the table, even accounting for the tough nature of tomorrow’s game with Harriers.
Bignot, whose side have been beaten just once in their past 14 games in all competitions, said: “We have got the balance right and our FA Cup form has not affected our league form and long may that continue.
“We have back-to-back home games and an opportunity to follow up the Brackley result and in the league, if you get back-to-back wins, it is massive and changes how a league looks.
“It is a really good opportunity to make some inroads with our league position.”
On tomorrow’s opponents, he added: “At the start of the season, Kidderminster were one we felt would get promotion and that has not changed.
“I know they have lost their last couple, including a surprise defeat to FC United. But I fully expect Kidderminster to be a National League club at the end of the season.
“It will be another good indicator of exactly where we are going and our direction.”
Meanwhile, Bignot says that the club – despite not landing a plum first-round tie against the likes of Sunderland or Portsmouth – are content enough with their cup draw, with all the pressure being on opponents Cambridge.
“First and foremost, we are into the first round and the prize money we have generated is a massive positive and keeps momentum going on the pitch,”he observed.
“I have always said that our ‘FA Cup final’ is the third round and getting a top-four club away. Second to that would have been a money spinner at Sunderland. But after that, you want a home tie and we are at home to league opposition.
“Let’s see if we can replicate what we did last year.
“It is not a glamour tie, but an opportunity for us and we have nothing to lose.
“People would expect a League Two team to beat a side two divisions below them.”