Abbey Hey manager Luke Gibson is challenging his squad to improve on the club’s 10th place finish last season.
Abbey’s finishing position in the Premier Division was pleasing for everyone at the club last time out, but Luke accepts that it will be tough to keep their year-on-year improvements going.
“We were made up to finish as high as we did last season”, he said. “Since 2010 we have always finished higher than the previous season, so that is progress. But you wonder now if we have hit a ceiling, and you wonder if 10th is the highest we can hope for, or can we push on again.
“We certainly want to push on but we are finding now if you do want to progress, you need to be paying good money for that, and that is a problem”.
None the less, the league table currently shows Abbey in a mid-table position once again, a creditable start to the season given that Luke had to overcome the loss of key players over the summer.
“We needed to strengthen in the summer, as Sam Hind was a big loss going off to 1874 Northwich and Sam Freakes too, who went to Ramsbottom United”, he said.
“But we have brought in Jamie Moore at Cheadle Town who has been a great signing at right back, and we have Sam Fitton and Adam Jones on dual registration from Hyde United.
“Hopefully once we start to settle and gel a bit more, we might get a bit more consistent and find a bit more quality going forward, although I guess that is what everyone is after.
“It’s not been a bad start, but it’s our defeats that have been the problem.
“We are not carrying ourselves in the best of ways at times, and the manner of some defeats has been nowhere near good enough.
“The biggest thing is the inconsistency, and every year we are losing players and having to start from scratch again. So you are building a new squad every year, and that hurts you in terms of consistency.
“We will continue to keep looking and see who we can bring in, use contacts at Evo-Stik clubs to see if there is anyone there who could do the business for us”.
In the meantime, Luke is looking for a response from his squad after Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of Hanley Town.
“We need to keep challenging the lads and not being happy with results like Saturday’s and accept mediocrity. If you do that you will just drop down the table.
“I can accept getting outplayed, but I can’t accept getting beaten the way we did against Hanley on Saturday, that was really disappointing. We didn’t do ourselves justice on Saturday, we have been performing better than that recently.
“It could be a lot worse, though, and if you look back over the years, you might say that Abbey Hey’s history is always finishing around the bottom six.
“But we won’t accept that now. We are now a mid-table team looking to get into that top half, and need to try and push on, even if in this league it is going to be difficult to improve on that 10th place last season”.