They may be down in 13th place in the Evo-Stik East Division, but recently appointed manager John Stancliffe is not writing off Frickley Athletic’s season.
New boss Stancliffe believes there is enough talent within the squad he has inherited from Spencer Fearn to push right back up the table and still possibly end with promotion this season.
He told the Express: “I’ve seen and heard a few comments about how we should write this season off. But we can’t do that in November, not with the talent we have within this squad.
“We’ve got players coming back from injury and we’ve been able to add a good talent in Sam Cable returning to the club last week. So when everybody’s back fit there’s no reason why this group of players can’t move forward into the play-off and still look to get promotion.
“So by no means are we writing this season off, we’ve still got ambitions of having a good season and pushing for the play-offs.”
Stancliffe has had a tough start to life as a manager with a league defeat to top of the table Morpeth Town and a cup loss to in-form Premier Division side Farsley Celtic before a Senior Cup victory at Worksop Town. But he has seen enough from his players to show that they are putting in the sort of effort that will see the club’s fortunes on the pitch turn round soon.
He said: “I can’t thank the players enough for their effort so far.
“It’s something I asked for in my first team talk. I said I will give them everything off the pitch, prepare them the best I can as a manager and all I ask if they give me everything on the pitch when the referee blows his whistle right until he stops the game.
“Over the past three games they have given me everything. The directors know that and more importantly the supporters have seen that – the effort levels and the desire to win football matches is back within our squad.
“It was not the easiest of two games to begin with. Farsley Celtic were on a good run in the Evo-Stik Premier League and they were fourth when we played them. Then obviously we played Morpeth, top of our league. But we want to be at the level of Farsley Celtic and so it’s what we’ve got to do week in, week out, to play at that standard.
“The boys are aware of that and they gave in both games a very good account of themselves. They showed heart and gave everything they could to try to win so there was no disgrace in losing.
“The Worksop game could have been a real banana skin. They’ve invested this season to try to win their league and get promoted. Craig Denton’s got them playing the way he wants them and they are a very, very tough team, especially at home. So to go away to Worksop and to dominate the game like I felt we did was really pleasing.
“With the performances over all three games the players deserve more than just the one win. That’s football, we’ll probably play worse at some stage this season and get a few victories.”