Top six remains the aim for Athletic’s campaign

Mike English
Mike English

Lutterworth Athletic boss Mike English admits he already has one eye on building for next season – although he has certainly not given up on this one just yet.

They sit 12th in the United Counties League first division but do have games in hand on several of the sides in the section’s upper reaches.

Like many teams they have been affected by the weather in recent weeks and saw last Saturday’s trip to Buckingham Town called off.

It means they have played just twice since Boxing Day with their latest outing nearly a fortnight ago bringing a 1-0 loss at home to Bourne.

But despite losing a little bit of touch with the top few sides, English insists nothing much has changed in his ambitions for the campaign.

“They are pretty much where they have always been,” he said.

“The top six is where everyone wants to be because that opens up other competitions for next season.

“We might have slipped a little bit in recent weeks but we still feel we can be up there.

“We’ve had to re-think somethings in terms of personnel from the start of this season.

“At the start we had that core of players you need having brought in some new personnel.

“We tried to do things a little bit differently but it didn’t quite work out.

“Things didn’t gel as we would have liked.

“It has meant we have had to go back to Plan A, if you like,

“But we look in good shape now and we’re keen to push on in the second half of the season.

“You also always have thoughts about the future.

“I know what we need to do and it’s not rocket science.

“We tried to enter into new things and it didn’t quite work out.

“But stability is a key thing.

“You look at Pinchbeck who are in control of the league at the moment and they have pretty much played with the same 16 players.

“That is always a good indicator of how a side is going to get on.

“Budgets also play a big part these days – and we haven’t got one.

“That is by choice, but the sides you see doing well and continuing to do well do tend to have the bigger budgets.”

In the short term, a home game with Huntingdon Town on Saturday is the next step in their attempts to move back into the leading pack.

And English expects another tough assignment.

“You more or less get the same thing out of every game in this league,” he explained.

“Huntingdon are one of those sides you have to be up for it against.

“We had a tight one at their place which we just edged and I expect it to be a close one again.

“Last Saturday we were all prepared to go to Buckingham when the game was called off half an hour before we were set to leave.

“Because we were all at the club we were able to have a really good training session and, although it’s never the same, it got everyone back into it.

“We look in good shape.”

Lutterworth Town did manage to get their game on last weekend – just the second time they have played this year – but were beaten 3-1 by Olney Town.

This Saturday they face the task of trying to derail secnod-placed Raunds Town who are currently unbeaten in seven games with six of those earning them maximum points.