Harrogate Railway's recent run proves club are genuine play-off contenders, insists Mick O'Connell
Mick O’Connell isn’t reading too much into his side’s recent demolition of FC Humber United, but he does believe that Harrogate Railway’s recent form confirms that the club are genuine promotion contenders.
The Starbeck outfit thrashed their struggling visitors 7-1 at Station View on Saturday, registering a seventh win in their last 10 outings in all competitions.
That victory consolidated the club's position in the division's final play-off berth, and although there is still plenty of football to be played between now and the end of the season, O'Connell is confident that his players can sustain their challenge.
"I'm not getting too carried away, FC Humber were poor and we played against 10 men for 80 minutes," the Railway boss told the Harrogate Advertiser.
"But we did play well, the performance levels were good. It could easily have been 12. We had three goals disallowed, we hit the post, hit the bar, but regardless of all that, this is just another three points.
"It's another good result and another win which means we've only lost two of the last 10 games and one of those was a League Cup tie where we rested players.
"So, while I'll not say too much about winning 7-1, I will say that I think we're showing enough to prove that we are right up there in this division. I'd be shocked if North Ferriby don't win the title with their budget, their resources, the pull they have. Hallam are strong, they have the budget. Rossington are the best team we've played this season. Brigg, the way they play, they'll be there.
"After those teams I think there's ourselves and a few other really good sides competing for a play-off place and I believe that we can be the best of the rest come April. The lads are producing consistently now and I know they are only going to keep getting better."
Fifth-placed Railway visit Retford this Saturday, the team just two places further back in the table.
"This is going to be a tougher game, Retford's home form is good. We played them earlier in the season in the cup, so we know what to expect," O'Connell added.
"They are a big, strong, physical side. They'll play to their strengths, play a lot of long balls. They'll try and put it on us, they will try and bully us.
"So we've got to stand up that and match them, the same way we did against a big, powerful Hall Road side last week.
"I know my lads will roll their sleeves up when they have to. They've got that side to them, it's about matching Retford and then making sure we play our own game and show our quality."