Aylesbury United boss Glyn Creaser is targeting a strong finish to the season after expressing his satisfaction with the progress the Ducks have made under his stewardship.
After taking over from Tony Joyce in October of 2015, Creaser guided United away from relegation peril to eventually finish 19th last season, and their improvement has continued into the current campaign.
Twenty-seven games in, the Ducks are ninth in Division One Central of the Southern League with 39 points, eight off the play-offs.
“I’m very pleased with the way we’ve settled down,” said Creaser this week. “We’ve had a few new faces in the squad this year and last year did have its challengers.
“We lost a fair chunk of players from last year and the season before that because a lot of uncertainty meant a lot of them left.
“So that was tricky but that’s gone now and we’ve put it behind us.
“This season has been pleasing. It’s been close margins in some games when we’ve come away losing 1-0 but in terms of stability there’s certainly that in and around the club and the squad at the minute.”
Creaser hasn’t yet given up hope of challenging for the play-offs but he knows it’ll take a big finish to the season to get in and among the top five.
He continued: “I’m a realist in many respects and I understand that at this moment in time we’ve got 15 games left and the quarter-finals of the League Cup next week, so we’ll try to pick up as many points as we can.
“If that’s enough to put us in the play-off area then we’ll deal with that at the time but the reality is I want to finish as high up the league as possible.
“We’re currently ground-sharing with Thame and what that looks like next year, who knows. It’s a case of carrying on trying to win games.
“If we can pick up four points from one game at home and one game away for the next couple of months then we’d have done OK.
“It’s nice to finish high up because it gives the players a boost in terms of confidence and we’ll look to win as many matches as we can until the end of the season.”
Creaser, a former centre-back who made over 300 appearances in the professional game, joined United initially as interim manager towards the end of 2015.
Now 15 months into his reign, he’s loving life as the Ducks chief.
“It’s surprisingly enjoyable! I’d rather be playing but everything comes to an end and I love it,” he added.
“I love the involvement and I love being around the players. We’ve got a really good bunch of players and they’re all talented footballers.
“Whatever level you play at, it’s about the concentration levels that can determine whether you win or lose a game and it’s about which team makes the least mistakes.
“There’s a good buzz around the place and it certainly feels like the players are enjoying themselves when they take to the field.”
Read the full interview with Glyn Creaser in Wednesday’s Bucks Herald.