Warrington Rylands manager Michael Clegg looking to make a good year ‘great’ in Northern Premier League claim

Warrington Rylands manager Michael Clegg reacts

Michael Clegg says Warrington Rylands have to cement their place in the Northern Premier League playoffs to ensure this year is a successful one. 

The Blues have been challenging at the top of the table for the majority of the season, after bouncing back from their 4-0 opening day defeat to Radcliffe. 

They bounced back from their 3-2 defeat against strugglers Bradford (Park Avenue), thanks to Ben Hough’s late winner against Matlock Town to keep them in second-place – one point ahead of Marine.

“It’s been tough, it’s like we’ve got a new squad for a few games. We have had a lot of injuries, a lot of suspensions and Adama (Sidibeh) has gone, the team has literally changed,” Clegg told Off The Park

“We’re that used to the consistency, the same people doing the same things, we’re hoping it’s a bit of a rough patch, Saturday was really good. I don’t think 1-0 told the full story, we were pretty good, we need to kick on, the league is wrapped up for me – no one is catching Radcliffe – so it will be a scrap to see who finishes in the playoffs. We’ve got to just keep going.”

Clegg signed a two-year deal with the Gorsey Lane club last month and celebrates the anniversary of his arrival, following the departure of Jody Banim. Rylands tasted success in the opening months of his tenure, making a late surge for the playoffs.

This season, Rylands are on course for their highest league position and look set to book their place in the top five in just their second season at step three and despite the “low” of their defeat to the East Yorkshire side – things are positive at the club. However, the Blues boss isn’t too keen on enjoying the sentiments surrounding his year in Warrington as he targets a winning run.

He added: “It’s been a good year, I’ve not had that many lows at Rylands – I think Bradford (Park Avenue) – we’ve won a lot of games. 

“The fan base has grown, we’ve tried to integrate the under-16s and under-17s where possible to make it one club, it’s been a great year but for it to feel better, we need to nail the playoffs. 

“We’ve been there for so long, we’ve had a little lull, we need to go and get them wins. With 11 games left, you’re going to have to, maybe, win eight to get in the playoffs, it’s going to be tough.”

Rylands take on FC United of Manchester this weekend and could open up a four-point gap to the Mariners, who take on league-leaders Radcliffe. Broadhurst Park has already played host to a meeting between the two clubs this season with Rylands winning 4-0 in the FA Cup second qualifying round.

Clegg says they have to start strong and look to nullify any momentum that Neil Reynolds’ side looks to build upon. He continued: “My best friend plays centre-half, he knows what I’m about and I get along well with Renno (Neil Reynolds), they’ve got some good players. 

“They’ve had a bad season by their standards but they’ll be wanting to finish the season strongly, we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t start on Saturday, we’ve got to go there and take it to them from minute one.”

[Featured image: Warrington Rylands – Mark Percy]

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