Despite two wins and a draw from their opening four games, Radcliffe Borough boss Paul McGuire is refusing to get too carried away with his side’s impressive start to the season.
Home wins against Prescot Cables and Lancaster City and a draw away at last year’s play-off finalists Bamber Bridge on Tuesday have seen the Evo-Stik Division One North side take seven points from a possible nine in the past week.
But with Boro flying high in sixth place in the league and expectation among fans also rising, McGuire is keeping calm.
“I can’t remember the last time we were sixth in the table, it was that long ago,” he told The Radcliffe Times.
“We’ve had a good start to the season, better than previous years where we have struggled to get points on the board.
“Our fans are enthusiastic and there is a real buzz around the club at the moment.
“However, we’ve got to be realistic and not get too carried away with our current position.
“I would love to say at the end of the season we would be up there challenging for the title but, if I’m being realistic, I think a top 10 finish will do the club the world of good.
“To not be in a relegation dogfight would be a huge bonus for us.
“Someone will give us a dose of reality at some point but if we can grind out results like we did against Bamber Bridge then who knows.”
There was some bad news for the Boro this week with captain James Mullineux joining Ryan Hibbert (collarbone) on the sidelines with a knee injury.
“We think Mullineux will probably be out for four to five weeks,” said McGuire.
“We don’t think it’s a serious injury but he has twisted his knee.”
Covering at the back is former Salford City defender Richard Smith – a player McGuire already admires.
“Richard looks like a class player. He’s only a young lad but he’s dogged and tenacious.
“He’s been tasked with filling Mullineux’s boots and he’s done well so far.”
Boro will welcome back former defender Mark Ayres and midfielder Andrew Heald to Stainton Park on Saturday when they take on Atherton Collieries in the preliminary round of the FA Cup, with McGuire hoping for a good run in the competition this year.
“It’s going to be a tough game and we won’t be taking them lightly,” said McGuire.
“A good FA Cup run would be fantastic for the club.
“If we lose and go out we will do it having given everything we’ve got,” he said.