TYTHERINGTON Rocks manager Gary Powell is determined to avoid a nail-biting finish to the Hellenic League Division One West title race, writes Rob Iles.
The Rocks are seven points clear at the top of the table ahead of Shortwood United Reserves, who have a game in hand, with just seven games left.
They are aiming for their second title in three years, having romped the league in Powell’s first season in charge, and now have the facilities in place to go up after being refused entry to the Premier Division on that occasion.
Tytherington narrowly missed out on promotion last season when they finished third and Powell does not want to delay their elevation any longer than necessary.
He said: “I think it’s important we push on and look to win our next seven games.
“We don’t want to make it interesting, so hopefully fingers crossed we can win the league, that’s our ultimate goal.
“We’re in a position where we feel ready to go to the next level – we’ve been ready for the last year to be honest – so we’ll push ourselves as hard as we can and hopefully finish in a promotion spot.
“We have had a good season. The key thing is to be consistent. We’ve always had a good squad and now we’re trying to get over the line.
“This year it was really important that we got off to a really good start and ever since we’ve done really well.
“All the boys click together. The majority have been there ever since I’ve been there, they all enjoy their football and have been very good this year.”
Powell has boosted his squad for the run-in by signing experienced midfielder Ian Howse, a former team-mate of his at Yate Town.
He said: “It’s nice to have people you can trust and hopefully he will give us experience to help us get over the line.”
Tytherington haven’t played since their 2-2 draw at home to Easington Sports on January 11, but they haven’t lost ground on any of their rivals as the wet weather has affected every team.
They hope to return to action with a trip to Old Woodstock Town on Saturday, which Andy Criddle will miss through suspension.
Striker Toby Colborune is also out injured, but Powell is now hopeful he will return before the end of the season.
He said: “It would be great to have him back for his experience so fingers crossed he will be back.
“There has been frustration in the last month but we’re quite lucky because we played a couple of games in January.
“I’m hoping we can push on at a crucial time of the season and, if we play on Saturday, get off to a flyer and get three points on the board.”