ADAM LOCKWOOD admits that time is of the essence for Guiseley – and also for his hopes of landing the permanent job at Nethermoor.
The 34-year-old leads the rock-bottom Lions for the third time tomorrow at home to Braintree, with the hosts entrenched at the foot of the National League table after seven successive losses.
Having been handed a chance by the Lions board to showcase his credentials for the full-time post after taking over on an interim basis following the dismissal of Mark Bower, Lockwood is sage enough to realise that he needs some results fast.
While Guiseley showed character and heart in a losing cause at National League leaders Tranmere on Monday, the former Doncaster Rovers and Oldham defender acknowledges that the hard currency of points and wins is now needed after two successive losses under his command.
On his prospects, Lockwood said: “At the end of the day, it all depends on results basically. I am not daft enough to know that.
“I hope I can bring some benefit to the club and that there is some improvement in different areas. Obviously, we have not had a great start and it is difficult to turn that around.
“Sometimes, it happens overnight, but at other times, it takes a period of time. But we have got to try and do it as quickly as possible to give ourselves a chance.”
While Guiseley’s position looks parlous already – just under a month into the campaign – Lockwood believes that if character and togetherness means anything, then things can turn around over the course of the season. One thing that has encouraged him is the pluck shown by a much-changed Guiseley side at Prenton Park, with the need now to take things one step further.
He added: “We were down to the bare bones the other night and I asked a lot of people, having decided to give the likes of Luke Porritt a chance, who I felt warranted a chance.
“He did himself proud and there was also young Will Wells on the bench and that will only be beneficial. There were a lot of positives, but it would be nice to get a result now.”
Tomorrow’s game is given extra piquancy by Guiseley’s hugely controversial leveller against Braintree in a 1-1 draw at home last season.
The Lions were accused of unsporting behaviour when Ollie Norburn’s shot was allowed to stand after the visitors had kicked the ball out of play for an injured player.
A huge amount of controversy reigned afterwards when Braintree, who were leading, were not allowed a walk-in goal to cancel that effort out.
But Lockwood believes those events are all water under the bridge.
He added: “Things happen in football, whether they are right or wrong.
“But that is gone and it is a new start for us and it is a new season.
“The start has not been great and we are looking to put things right and last season will not have anything to do with the game. I have just got to try and put the right things in place and do that right things as much as I can and, hopefully, things will change and we will see how we go.
“The differences I have seen so far have been great, even though we haven’t had the results yet.”
Harrogate town head into this weekend’s home fixture in fine form, writes Toby Bilton.
Third in the Conference North but level on points with leaders AFC Fylde and Salford City, Town are on a four-game winning streak and remain unbeaten in seven so far this season.
On Saturday, they welcome 13th-placed Curzon Ashton to the CNG and confidence is high after last week’s 1-0 derby win over Halifax Town at the Shay.
And after their successive losses against high-flying Harrogate and Fylde, 10th-placed Halifax will be aiming for a return to winning ways at AFC Telford.
Bradford Park Avenue, meanwhile, are yet to win this season, and, after four straight losses, the team with the worst defensive record are 18th in the league.
They face a difficult encounter on Saturday away at ninth-placed Brackley Town, who have lost just once all season.
In the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, 14th-placed Garforth Town host Pickering, who are 15th. However, Pickering have played just three times this season, compared to Garforth’s six.
There is a top-of-the-table clash as Hemsworth Miners Welfare, – in third – entertain Cleethorpes Town, who are second. Both teams have an identical record, having won four and drawn once.
League leaders Liversedge have not lost since the opening day and travel to Barton Town Old Boys, who are 16th.
In the NCEL Division One, Knaresborough Town host Glasshoughton Welfare at Manse Lane.
The duo are level on eight points, but Welfare have lost once and played a game more, while Knaresborough remain unbeaten.
Nostell Miners Welfare will be aiming to make amends after Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Knaresborough. The 17th-placed side take on Shirebrook, who are struggling themselves in 20th.
Mid-table Selby Town welcome 14th-placed Worsbrough Bridge Athletic to the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium. Bridge Athletic have not won since the opening day but Selby are yet to win at home.
Leeds-based Yorkshire Amateur are struggling at the wrong end of the table and face the difficult trip to Winterton Rangers, who are seventh.
The fa Cup reaches its third stage this weekend with several teams from the Evo-Stik League and NCEL competing in the first qualifying round, writes Toby Bilton.
Harrogate Railway Athletic have been involved since the very beginning having beaten Albion Sports and Norton & Stockton in the preliminary rounds.
On Saturday, they entertain Consett, of County Durham, who have already won twice on the road in the famous cup competition.
Evo-Stik First Division North side Tadcaster Albion travel to NCEL Division One play-off hopefuls Pontefract Colleries, with 41 places separating the sides.
The winner will earn £3,000 and Taddy assistant Matt Heath has called on Albion’s players to perform.
He said: “This is where the money gets serious and it’s important for the club.
“It’s a really big game for the club and all our players will know just how big it is.
“Everyone wants that magic of the cup.”
Elsewhere, Evo Premier duo Blyth Spartans and Frickley come up against each another, while Ossett Albion and Ossett Town play Bishop Auckland and Billingham Synthonia respectively.
Brighouse Town host Lancaster City while Evo-Stik Division One North leaders Farsley Celtic travel to the world’s first football club, Sheffield FC, who are struggling at the bottom of Evo-Stik Division One South.