St Ledger is hoping Lions can stay course

Sean St Ledger
Sean St Ledger
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SEAN ST LEDGER may be just over a week or so into his first experience of management with Guiseley, but he has already learned the first golden rule – that making bold predictions is foolish.

That said, the Lions interim-boss is promising one thing, namely that if the National League basement club do go down, then they will go down fighting.

The Nethermoor outfit showed plenty of that in Tuesday night’s gutsy 1-0 Roses victory over AFC Fylde, with a late winner from John Rooney ending their desperate seven-match losing sequence in memorable fashion.

Despite the much-needed morale-booster, the Lions still have several mountains to climb if they are to perform a third successive Great Escape, with the fixture list having not exactly afforded them a favour tomorrow with a visit to second-placed Sutton United.

As it stands, Guiseley are 11 points adrift of fifth-from-bottom Barrow, who have a game in hand, with St Ledger wise to be circumspect, despite pledging one thing.

He told the YEP: “I think if we are going to down, we are going to go down fighting. I know that the players have that fight in them and you could see that on Tuesday night.

“And then, what will be, will be. We will take each game as it comes and there’s no point looking at the table at the moment. If we keep getting three points, we will see where it takes us.

“It is a case of getting on with it and enjoying the victory from Tuesday because the wins have been few and far between.

“When you do win, you have to make the most of it and enjoy it because you don’t know when the next one is around the corner. That’s football. Teams go on runs, even the top teams, when they don’t win. When you do win, enjoy it and when you come back into work, you focus on the next games and training sessions ahead.”

As for his own future in charge of the side on an interim basis and potentially being a contender for the full-time job, St Ledger – perhaps wisely too – is not looking too far ahead.

Although he is the first to admit that he is embracing his new footballing experience.

On his possible extended future in the dug-out, the ex-Republic of Ireland defender said: “It’s just a game by game thing.

“I will do my best and work my hardest while I am in this role and continue to communicate to the powers that be.

“Whatever role that they want me to be in, I will do that.

“I am enjoying it, I have to admit. It’s been a new experience.

“At times, it has been challenging and there have been highs and lows to it and after the game on Saturday, I was quite low. When you lose games as a player, manager and spectator, you walk away and think what can we have done better.

“You have to be positive. The supporters were fantastic on Tuesday and got behind the lads and hopefully, we can build on this now.”

In the here and now, St Ledger has enough on his plate plotting a successful game plan to try and stop high-flying Sutton in their tracks to be looking to far ahead regarding his potential managerial future.

Tomorrow’s game brings its own challenges at Gander Green Lane, including negotiating the U’s artificial surface – although Guiseley will not be caught cold in that regard.

St Ledger added: “We face a good Sutton side knowing we will have to be at the top of our game. There’s no excuses, we train on Astroturf and are used to it. It should maybe benefit us more as we do train on Astro.”

FC Halifax, four points above the drop zone now, go to mid-table Eastleigh.

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A tough and congested week for Pontefract Collieries begins tomorrow against struggling Hall Road Rangers in the NCE Premier, writes CONNOR CRAIG-JACKSON.

The former NCE Premier leaders have moved ever-closer to regaining their place at the top after current leaders, Mansfield, suffered a shock 5-1 thrashing against mid-table Liversedge. Sedge, meanwhile, welcome Barton Town tomorrow, having been brought back down to earth in a 5-3 midweek loss to Pickering Town, who themselves have a potentially tough outing with Worksop Town in their bid to keep up the pressure on the league summit.

Meanwhile, Hemsworth MW will be hard pressed to regain their previous winning form ahead of a tough visit to second-placed Handsworth Parramore, while Harrogate Railway look to put further breathing space between them and the relegation zone when they entertain Bridlington Town.

Despite dropping points in their most recent fixture, first division leaders, Knaresborough Town, will be highly confident they can get straight back to winning ways when they travel to second-from-bottom Brigg Town tomorrow.

After a strong performance in the League Cup, Yorkshire Amateur will be in high spirits ahead of their return to league action against Campion.

Promotion rivals Selby Town, meanwhile, will be looking for a response in their match with Armthorpe Welfare after a disappointing 4-1 loss to Nostell MW in their last outing.

Nostell will be hoping for a repeat of their performance with Selby when they take on equally strong opposition in Grimsby Borough.

Elsewhere, AFC Emley travel to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic while Glasshoughton Welfare look to get back on the winning track in their trip to East Yorkshire Carnegie.