GUISELEY’S current league placing of sixth-from-bottom in the National League North may not be an overwhelming one, as it stands.
But in the greater scheme of things, a six-point buffer above the relegation zone and with the potential of consolidation towards the safe confines of mid-table in a season that was always destined to be a transitional one at Nethermoor is a position that many realists may taken before a ball was kicked in August.
With the club having cut their cloth accordingly following the painful financial mistakes of last season – a campaign that was tough and sobering on every level for the Lions – the ship has been steadied by joint managers Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill, who have earned the respect of the club’s hierarchy and supporters in the process.
Of course, the pair want much more, with the team’s current placing of 17th being one which the duo are keen to improve between now and the end of the season.
But fulfilling the season’s brief of consolidating in the sixth tier of English football comfortably looks to be within their remit. Analysing the season so far, Bignot, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Boston United, told the YEP: “Probably a lot of the work will be unseen, to be honest, with the stuff behind the scenes and the financial situation at the club and the liability from last season that we had to address.
“From that point of view, we would have won the league based on what we have achieved financially in terms of reducing the liability!
“I am sure the owner, chairman and board are delighted with what we have done. But ultimately, we want to win football matches.
“Come the end of the season, I am confident of where we will be and that we will look back at it as a massive step in the right direction at this football club again.
“We will see where we are at the end of January and see what it brings and then we are into the business end.
“The signs are that we can still have a strong end of the season and that is what we are working towards.”
The Lions’ trip to AFC Telford has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 12 (7.45pm).
Guiseley’s injury count has been added to ahead of the home encounter with the mid-table Pilgrims,
Josh Langley, Niall Heaton and Kaine Felix were forced off in the 1-1 midweek draw with Hereford, which represented Guiseley’s 12th draw of the season.
Up front, the Lions will again rely on in-form veteran striker Kayode Odejayi, who has struck four goals in his past six matches.
On another dose of injury misfortune and looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, co-manager O’Neill said: “We cannot seem to shake them off at the minute, we have had an horrendous run of them – all season right from the first game.
“We will see how they are and hopefully they will be ok for Saturday.
“It is another opportunity, it is at home and we will be looking to get three points.
“We were a bit disappointed to only get one point against Hereford, but if we can back it up with three on Saturday we would have taken four points over the two games. We are looking forward to it.”
Mark Bower’s Bradford Park Avenue make the trip to Brackley tomorrow, the scene of their play-off elimination at the end of last season.
Avenue, who now find themselves in third spot, are seeking their first win of 2019 and have not won in their past five games.