With Saturday’s win over Alsager Town moving them into eight place in the Premier Division, Abbey Hey manager Luke Gibson says he is happy with the progress his squad is making.
Just one defeat in six games, and just five defeats in 19 league games shows that Abbey are showing some good consistent form, and Luke is hoping for more of the same in the second half of the season.
“We are more than happy, and on course for our target for the club this season which is 60 points”, he said. “That would be the highest we have ever got and we are well on course for that.
“When we got promoted (in 2013), the first year the target was to stay up and then in the second year we were looking at how we could push on. We finished a bit higher than we did in the first year so there has always been progression.
“So now we are looking at finishing the highest the club has ever finished, and hopefully next season we might be able to kick on again”.
Unlike some of the other clubs in the league, Abbey have managed to get games in over the past couple of months, and Saturday’s game against Alsager Town was their fifth in a row at home, a point that Luke is aware of.
“We have managed to get a good number of home games in, but the flip side is that we are looking at a couple of months where there are going to be a few away games on the bounce.
“So that will be a bit of a challenge and we need to see how we deal with that.
“You have got to present lads with that sort of challenge and see how they cope with it, but we have lads who I am confident will cope.
“We are disappointed to be out of all the cups, although we did have a good run in the FA Cup, but as we are not in any cup competitions so our schedule won’t be as hard as it might be for others with a fixture pile up”.
The run of away games to come will be a particular test for some of the younger members of Luke’s squad, but he believes the mixture of youth and experience in the squad will see them through.
“While we have some experienced players in the team, there isn’t experience throughout the whole team”, he admitted.
“We have a really good academy that produces good players and we have several good young lads coming through.
“We had Kane Hickman and Ollie Ford who are both 18 and played on Saturday, George Noon who got two goals (against Alsager) is 19, so if we can get the right environment for them to come into, then I think they will flourish because they are good enough.
“2015 has been a very positive year. Considering how we started in the league in 2014-15 was atrocious, it’s great to now see where we are at.
“We have got some technically good players, and now they are starting to realise hopefully what it takes to win games.
“If we can just keep pushing the club on and quietly progressing, we’ll be happy with that”.