AFC Barrow owner Paul Casson is positive about the club’s future after a battling campaign on the field.
Barrow have pushed themselves away from a prospective National League relegation battle to sit in mid-table with nine games of the season to go.
The appointment of manager Paul Cox to replace the axed Darren Edmondson in November has seen the club show improvement in many areas.
Barrow won their first game under Cox, 2-1 at home to Woking, and have lost only four times in 16 matches in all competitions since then – once in the FA Trophy.
The Bluebirds are currently on a five-match unbeaten run and Texas-based businessman Casson, who was back in his hometown to take in the recent home matches against Altrincham and Bromley, is optimistic about the future.
He feels the club’s course is on track with his long-term goals and, writing with his perspective on the time since he took over the club in summer 2014, he said: “It is now almost two years since this Bluebirds journey began for me and my family.
“It has been an education, although it has gone more or less to plan.
“The National League North seems like a distant galaxy; a long way away now.
“A weekly diet of Wrexham, Lincoln City, Cheltenham Town, Eastleigh, Torquay, Grimsby and company will wake any club up in a hurry.
“There is a considerable difference between the top six of the Conference North and the bottom third of our league, but from there on up is a chasm.
“We are probably appropriately positioned now smack bang in the middle of the table, but with some interesting fixtures coming up against teams whose destiny next year could depend on the outcomes of the games.
“Halifax, Torquay, and Kidderminster are at the bottom, and Eastleigh, Braintree, and Wrexham are at the top. The other three games, against Chester, Aldershot and Macclesfield, may produce less critical drama, so fortunately two of them are away from our Furness Building Society Stadium.
“That we are in such a position is probably a cause for minor celebration.
“It would be nice to be challenging for a play-off spot in the first season, but in light of circumstances that occurred both prior to and during the season it has proved to be beyond the club this year.
“Defeat to Woking in late November, with a difficult schedule ahead, could even have landed us in an unpleasant relegation battle, which once involved, can be difficult to escape.
“Fortunately we won that game.
“We have steadily improved as a competitive outfit since that time, despite a challenging schedule, particularly at home.
“In the form table over the past five games we now sit in sixth position.