Garstang boss Lee Baker believes his players are a better side than the league table suggests as they approach the final third of the season.
The Riversiders lost their first game in eight last weekend, going down 2-1 to Nelson to leave them eighth in the Hallmark Security League First Division North.
A dozen games remain of the season, starting with tonight’s scheduled home game against a Lower Breck side sitting three places above Garstang.
Then, on Saturday, title challengers Avro are the visitors but – ironically – Garstang’s performances against the top teams have not been too bad this season.
League leaders Longridge Town have been beaten in league and cup, while an AFC Darwen team sitting one place above Baker’s players in the table were beaten in the FA Vase.
For good measure, the Riversiders have also gained three points in the league against higher-ranked sides including AFC Liverpool, Prestwich Heys and Carlisle City.
“We know our season should have been better,” Baker admitted.
“We should be higher up in the league and I don’t say that in a big-headed way.
“I think, on our day, we are a top four or five team with all our squad available.”
However, it’s having all of the squad available which has been a headache for Baker this season.
Key players have been missing at various points, notably centre-forward Alan Coar and defender Josh Westwood.
Both have been missed by the Riversiders, though Coar has arguably been the more significant absentee.
“In the last two or three games, I think Alan would have had two or three goals; no doubt about it,” Baker said.
“I think he would have been there to stick those chances away but that’s where we’re at.
“However, to have gone seven unbeaten at any level is a great effort.”