DON’T mention the thorny topic of draws to Guiseley co-manager Marcus Bignot.
The Lions’ reputation as National League North’s draw specialists has been reinforced by one-point hauls in their past two matches against Stockport County and AFC Telford – and while the results, on paper, were commendable, for Bignot it is a case of “if only”.
Togetherness, spirit and organisation have been in abundance during Guiseley’s campaign, with the Nethermoor outfit proving a tough nut to crack.
But the fact remains that they reside too close to the bottom three for comfort – with the Lions being one place and six points above third-from-bottom.
It is a decent buffer, but it would look significantly better if Guiseley could triumph at second-from-bottom FC United of Manchester tomorrow.
Bignot, whose 19th-placed side have drawn five of their last eight matches and are without a league win since New Year’s Day, said: “I think that is 14 draws now and that is where it lies.
“You look at Telford and we have only lost one more game than them all season and they are in the play-offs and we are at the other end of the table.
“That draws column has been our problem in terms of not converting those draws into wins. If we had converted a third of those into wins, we would be a lot healthier.
“But it is a case of recognising what we are good at and bringing that week in and week out to try and get better because we need to be.
“But we still feel we are going in the right direction.”
Despite more draw frustration in their past two outings, Bignot is conscious of the fact that a victory against the Red Rebels tomorrow would put a positive slant on this week.
As it stands, Guiseley hold an eight-point advantage over their Lancastrian rivals with a game in hand, but they are rather more aware of the fact that another North-West side in third-from-bottom Ashton trail them by six points, but possess a game in hand.
On tomorrow’s test, Bignot added: “If you look at it, five points from nine would be a good return this week.
“FC United is a fixture I always look forward to as they have a huge, passionate crowd and there is history and tradition and it is a super ground to go and perform on.
“Hopefully, it will bring a performance out in us and we want to go there and play and not be negative or forget what we are.
“Until we are mathematically safe, we are looking over our shoulders.
“But a win on Saturday and then it is two back-to-back home games and then all of a sudden, you are looking up the table rather than behind.”
Two positive developments have at least seen defender Josh Langley and midfielder George Cantrill had had their loans extended from Southport and Sheffield United respectively.
Langley is being assessed ahead of tomorrow’s game along with scorer Scott Smith, with both players forced off with injury at Telford in midweek.
Meanwhile, the Guiseley Academy team at Shipley College have reached the quarter-finals of the English Schools and Colleges U-18s Elite Cup after coming back from 1-0 down to beat a strong Sunderland College team 2-1.
Both of the goals were scored by Kieron Ceesay who recently signed first-team forms for Guiseley.
It was a very young Shipley College side that played against a team made up of players from title challengers South Shields FC.
They now face Preston College and the winner of that tie will face Balby Carr College in the semi-finals.