Guiseley are avoiding play-off fever as boss Bower plays it cool

Ilkley Gazette: Mark Bower hopes his side can continue good run Mark Bower hopes his side can continue good run

Tuesday night’s 3-1 home victory over Stalybridge Celtic not only put Guiseley through the 50-point barrier in Skrill Conference North, it also lifted them to ninth place.

However, despite them having games in hand on seven of the clubs above them, no-one at Nethermoor is getting play-off fever yet.

“I know it’s a cliche but we are just taking things one game at a time,” confessed Lions manager Mark Bower.

“Maybe if we are still up there in three or four weeks’ time, we might start looking at our rivals’ fixtures, but for the moment we are just concentrating on ourselves.”

As leaders North Ferriby United are at Nethermoor on Saturday, that sounds like a wise policy.

A 15-game unbeaten run, which included a 3-2 victory at North Ferriby, propelled Guiseley from relegation candidates into mid-table, while their current seven-match streak without defeat has lifted them into the top ten.

Bower said: “There are no easy games in this division and, even with games in hand, you cannot expect teams to win them all.

“We are going to have the odd draw or the odd defeat.”

While it is not unrealistic to expect Guiseley to catch the likes of eighth-placed Solihull Moors, seventh-placed Brackley Town and even fifth-placed Harrogate Town, as the Lions have three or four games in hand on them and only trail them at the most by five points, it is much more difficult for Guiseley to overhaul Altrincham (fourth), Telford (second) and North Ferriby.

Bower said of front-runners North Ferriby: “They have had a couple of great seasons, including winning the Evo-Stik Premier Division last season, and it will be a difficult game but we had an excellent result there in October.”

On Tuesday, Guiseley are at Stalybridge Celtic, who are currently fourth from bottom, and Bower said: “We played Stockport County twice in quick succession (won 2-0 at home on Tuesday of last week and drew 3-3 at Edgeley Park on Saturday), and now we have Stalybridge twice, which is a completely different test.”

One player Guiseley must do without is striker Craig Hobson, who has joined Skrill Premier Chester.

Bower said: “Craig has been unlucky and wanted regular first-team football, which we couldn’t offer him.”

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