The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 13th April 2012
.....to build on next season, as they prepare for life in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North.
The Linnets’ relegation was confirmed last week after a season spent battling adversity, but they have embarked upon a four-game unbeaten run of late, hinting at the growing potential within the side.
Back-to-back draws against promotion hopefuls Bradford Park Avenue and Marine over the Easter weekend showcased his side’s new-found resilience, and Goulding hopes their improvements can continue of what he believes will be a pivotal summer of rebuilding for the club.
“I’m made up for the lads with the progress we have made,” he said. “They deserve it for the way they have worked all season, and to see decent performances being transferred into decent results is very good for us.
“The draws against two of the top sides in the league show the progress. The side is settling down a lot. The new signings we have made are making a difference, and there is a bit more continuity about the team.
“It is quite positive at the minute, despite the relegation. The key is keeping the momentum going, and getting through the summer having kept as much of the side together as possible.
“I’m confident we can do that to be honest. The likes of (striker) Niall Cummins have come in and settled well. If we can hold on to those kind of players, then we will have a good platform for next season hopefully.”
Goulding’s side have three games left this season, and impressed during Easter Monday’s goalless draw at Marine.
The manager hopes the Linnets can continue their recent mini-run, and paid tribute to the club’s supporters, who helped ensure a bumper turnout of more than 550 supporters on Bank Holiday Monday.
“We had a great following at Marine,” he said. “That really boosted the lads’ confidence, and it meant a lot to them all.
“They showed their appreciation at the end, which was fantastic to see. I hope they can see the little steps we are taking towards having a more competitive club.
“We want to keep up our good performances until the end of the season. We’re not saying we will win every game or anything like that. We have some good sides to play against.
“But if we can look back at the end of the season and see that we have had a good run of six or seven games where we have performed well, then that will be something to hold on to going into next season.
“People have said to me ‘oh aren’t you sorry the run didn’t come sooner?’. Well, of course we are, but we are a developing team, and have been carrying a massive burden all season. It’s not as simple as just switching it on like a tap. At least we have managed to show some character and spirit, even if it is a bit too late in terms of survival.”