WHEN IT comes to the National League North, Guiseley have unfinished business.
The Lions take the field in a league game for the first time since November 17 at Nuneaton Borough tomorrow afternoon, with co-manager Marcus Bignot seeking evidence of his side’s capacity to respond following a ‘blot on the copybook’ in the shape of their shock FA Trophy replay exit to Lancaster City earlier this month.
The defeat means that Guiseley, aside from their West Riding County Cup commitments, are now focusing purely on league matters and playing catch-up for the rest of the winter.
As it stands, the Nethermoor outfit are four places above the relegation positions ahead of tomorrow’s game at rock-bottom Boro, who can move to within three places of their opponents with victory at Liberty Way.
Just seven points currently separate the bottom eight, but Bignot, mindful that 16th-placed Guiseley have games in hand on all of their rivals, says that the Lions should be looking upwards as opposed to over their shoulders.
He said: “The remit of the club when we came in was to consolidate. First and foremost, we have got to make sure that happens. But ultimately, we feel we should be in the top half of the table with the ability we have got and if we can be there by the end of January, anything is possible.
“The Trophy loss was a massive disappointment and a first blot on the copybook in terms of the manner we went out. We had an opportunity over the two games and were hugely disappointed.
“The manner in which we went out of the FA Cup restored a lot of the feel-good factor, but it is an opportunity now for us to learn from both the Cup and Trophy experiences.
“After our FA Cup exploits, I think it has been just over a month since we last played in the league.
“We believe we are in a false position, but the reality is if you don’t win those games, that is where you could possibly be.
“It is an important period for us – December and January always is – and we are looking forward to it.”
It has been a tough season for tomorrow’s opponents Boro, although the Midlands outfit were afforded some welcome light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of their impressive 2-1 victory at Darlington last time out. The win was Nuneaton’s first success in the league since the end of September and one of just three that they have managed at National League North level so far this term.
The precious three points in the north-east represented a sweet moment for new Nuneaton manager Jimmy Ginnelly, finally handed the reins at his hometown club after being linked with the Boro hotseat on several occasions previously.
Guiseley are intent on not providing Ginnelly with an encore in his first home league match in charge tomorrow afternoon on what will be a special moment for the 55-year-old.
Bignot added: “They have just brought in a new manager in Jimmy Ginnelly, who I know well. He has got his dream job and is a Nuneaton boy and you can see the effect he has had straightaway with going in and winning away at Darlington.
“I am sure they will have a bit more desire about them as a group purely because of Jimmy going in. It is going to be a difficult task physically and they will also be in a better place mentally.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, second-placed Bradford Park Avenue host third-from-bottom Hereford.
And in the National League, Harrogate Town visit Eastleigh while FC Halifax host Sutton United.