“We are definitely in the title race – now we must stay up there!”
That’s the new year message from Holbeach United boss Seb Hayes after Saturday’s 2-0 win at league leaders Newport Pagnell Town.
Lewis Leckie’s double put the Tigers six points off pole position with three games in hand over the Swans.
Hayes said: “If we do our jobs, we will take top spot.
“It’s something which I never expected from this group of players at the start of the season.
“We have to keep battling and doing what we are good at. We’ll stick to the basics.
We can’t deny that we are title challengers now. But we don’t want our form to fall away then see everyone else laughing at us. We believe we can win it.Seb Hayes
“There have only been two games this season – away to Wisbech Town and Rothwell Corinthians – when we have been outworked as a team.
“We are going into a long, hard run of games where we need to get positive results.
“We have the best home record in the league so we’ve got to be one of the favourites.
“We can’t deny that we are title challengers now. But we don’t want our form to fall away then see everyone else laughing at us.
“We believe we can win it.
“We let ourselves down on Boxing Day. But one game doesn’t shape the season.
“We wanted a minimum of seven points from our three games against top-five sides over the festive period. But we are happy with six.
“I thought the lads were brilliant on Saturday and it was comfortable, even though a few players were missing in the squad.
“The only way Newport Pagnell were going to hurt us was from set-pieces.
“They tried diagonal balls with plenty of pace out wide but in the end, we nullified that threat.
“We were sloppy at the start of those two previous games. But we scored in the first minute on Saturday and from that moment, we were not getting beaten.
“I’m very pleased to bounce back from the defeat against Wisbech on Boxing Day.
“We have done that every time this season following a bad result which speaks volumes for this group.”