ON-SONG Ossett Albion may have lost just once in their last nine matches but they’re not safe from relegation just yet, according to joint manager Paul Watson.
The Warehouse Systems Stadium club have hauled themselves out of the Evo-Stik Division 1 North relegation spots in recent weeks thanks to their superb run of form.
But Watson, who took charge of Albion alongside Lloyd Fellows at the start of the season, isn’t getting carried away with his side’s winning momentum and insists survival is still the only aim this term.
“We’re not out of the woods just yet,” he admitted.
“We’re playing well but we’re 25 games into the season and we still find ourselves down near the bottom so there’s still work to do.
“We’ve gone on a good run but you can easily go on a bad run and be in trouble again.”
Albion’s latest success was a 2-1 victory at high-flying Skelmersdale United on Saturday.
The hosts took a 20th-minute lead before goals from Marc Thompson and Richard Tracey gave the visitors all three points.
The result upset the form book but it didn’t come as a surprise to Watson.
“It was a great result, one of the best of the season for us,” he said.
“The thing about it was it didn’t really surprise me.
“There’s no real secret to our success, we just work hard and train hard and things come together on the pitch.
“We like to play football the right way and I think that’s why the lads are enjoying playing.
“We keep the pressure off the lads, even when we weren’t doing that well results-wise, and it’s helped.”
He continued: “We had a few key players out at the start of the season so that didn’t help us.
“Me and Lloyd said in pre-season that if we kept the full squad fit we’d be a match for any team in the division and that’s how it’s turned out in the last few weeks when players have returned from long-term injuries.”
Andy McManus and Adam Hayton are two players who’ve missed big chunks of the season through injury but they’re both back acting as a crucial cogs in the Albion machine.
Watson has also pointed towards the spirit within the squad as a reason for Albion’s resurgence.
“We looked to get local players in the squad so they have a commitment to the club and care about it,” he said.
“I’d say about 90 per cent of the squad can be classed as local and the spirit within the squad is great because of that.”
Albion saw their midweek home clash against Woodley Sports postponed due to a frozen pitch and they’re next test is a trip to promotion-chasing AFC Fylde on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
The league leaders thumped Harrogate Railway Athletic 7-0 in their last match and will be eager for more glory when Albion visit.
Watson said: “It’s going to be a big test and it’ll show us just how far we’ve come.”
Albion will give a late fitness test to striker Dale Kelly (ankle), while McManus is also carrying a knock.
Supporters are welcome to travel on the Albion coach for tomorrow’s trip to high-flying Fylde.
It leaves the Dimple Wells clubhouse at 11.30am and seats cost £10 per person.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.