Burscough feeling the festive spirit as Paul Bowes questions chances with the North West Counties big guns

Burscough celebrate their goal against Congleton

Burscough manager Paul Bowes has emphasised the confidence in his side after their run into Christmas.

Their win over Longridge Town was followed up with a tremendous win over Congleton Town to see them move into third before the Christmas break.

After a week’s break, they made it successive wins dispatching of Longridge with three unanswered goals from Nathan Martland, Thomas McNamara and John Connolly.

Bowes has opened up about the atmosphere in the dressing room as they continue grinding out results and see themselves within five points of the promotion play-offs.

“Six points before Chrimbo [sic] couldn’t be happier, I set the lads a target of getting seven points from the three points starting Saturday, Tuesday and Tuesday, the first two games getting six points I fully expect them to get nine points and get a good result over Squires Gate over Christmas,” he told Off The Park.

“Third in the league for Christmas, couldn’t be happier with the squad, the group of players and there’s just a good buzz around the place at the moment. 

“I always had confidence in this group of players we had from the start, even from last season we had confidence in the squad.

“We’ve chopped and changed a few times but the players that’s been brought in, they’ve been brought in for specific reasons, Tom McNamara’s come in to replace John Connolly, similar kind of player, Kev Pollard’s come back in, Joel Richardson’s coming in because we need a solid midfielder, George Lomax getting fit, everything has been for a reason.

“The way we play, we know we play defensively and we’re horrible to play against, I’ve always had confidence with the squad especially with the core we’ve got; Luke Denson, Danny Brady, Peter Henerty, Mitch Kinsella, Jack Hont, Lou Sinnett, Ryan Smith, Conor Christensen we know they’re going battle. Everything we add to that around it is going to do well. 

“It is beginning to fall into place having a full squad is a big part of that. Over the last four weeks, we’ve had 20 lads at training it does make a massive difference, it’s a headache for me but it’s a good headache to have.

“All the lads understand that there’s lads going to miss out on the squad for whatever reason, the bunch of games they understand it’s horses for causes.

You go and play Longridge on Saturday who play football, you need fit lads who will go round and chase, we changed it against Congleton and went a bit more physical, it’s worked and we’ve got six points.

“None of the lads who wasn’t in the squad haven’t got complaints because we went and got three points, as a squad we’re happy for each other. It’s all clicking at the same time.”

Linnets’ form since the former defender took over has been unrivalled across the league as they have calmly climbed the North West Counties Premier Division table and find themselves mixing with the promotion-chasers.

But for Bowes, he asks “why not” when they uttered in the same breath as the leading pack – Macclesfield and Skelmersdale United.

He added: “At the start of the season, eight games in we were second from bottom, no one expected us to be here we’re punching above our weight.

“We know that there’s people spending a lot of money but we know how good we can and how good of a squad we’ve got. If we keep doing what we’re doing it is a case of why not?

“Let’s go have a push, let’s go have a kick, see how far we can get up, you never know you just need a team to go through a bad patch and you catch them. I can’t myself see it happening, but you never know in this game, I’ve come to learn that, anything can happen.

“We’ll know with 10 games to go where we’re at, get through Christmas, January and see where we are then.”

After the win over Congleton, he lauded his players.

“That was massive [three points against Congleton] when we went ahead it was a bit of relief and when they scored it was amongst here we go because we’ve had it before where we’ve conceded and just capitulated, fell apart,” he continued. “Pilkington, Padiham, Prestwich teams have beat us that we can win but we just fold so when they scored it was important the lads keep their shape and worked hard.

“The first goal from Peter Henerty was a brilliant strike and Tom McNamara’s was another great strike. I can’t fault any of them, they’re starting to believe in themselves that they can go and get winners instead of hanging on.”

[Featured image: Paul Moran]

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