Casson: 'Barrow AFC where we want to be' as season nears climax
CHAIRMAN Paul Casson says Barrow AFC are right where they want to be, as they enter the final straight of a boundary-pushing season.
The Bluebirds climbed back into the National League play-off places with Wednesday's 1-0 win at Macclesfield Town.
The result made it two wins, one draw and one defeat from a run of four league games against teams battling for promotion from the division, following the vanquishing of Lincoln City for the second time this season and a nine-man draw at Aldershot, sandwiching a late 3-2 loss against Forest Green Rovers.
They may still be 11 points behind leaders Lincoln, and have ground to make up on Forest Green, Dagenham and Redbridge and Tranmere Rovers ahead of tomorrow's home match with Torquay United, but Casson is perfectly pleased with the situation (3pm kick-off).
He sees Barrow as the team nobody wants to play, and said: “It's exactly where we wanted to be. Someone had asked me where we wanted to be going into the start of the year. I think I said eighth at the time – in touching distance.
“There is an enormous amount of pressure on all those teams right at the top. You don't want to be the team out in front – unless you're a mile in front, and nobody ever gets a mile in front.
“You want to be the people chasing. You want to be the underdog.
“I think we have successfully placed ourselves as the team that nobody wants around.”
He added: “It's one game at a time, even down to the Lancashire Senior Cup. They're just games, and they are games we think we can win.
“We have a squad now we think can handle the rigours of two games a week until the end of the season. It's all about managing them, getting the players the right amount of time on the pitch and integrate them all into the effort – because we will need them all.
“They are all important games. You've just got to do the best you can, and it another team beats you on the day, then you pat them on the back, say well done, and move on.
“What we're doing is making sure that, to the best of our ability, we are competitive in any match we play.”
Casson has been particularly pleased with manager Paul Cox's recruitment over the last month.
The Barrow boss has brought in striker Inih Effiong on a permanent contract, as well as landing Jon Flatt, Jack Thomas, Dan Rowe, Matty Platt, Connor Thomson, Luke Burke and Shaun Tuton on loan.
All but Effiong, Thomson, and Platt have already featured in the first team, with Tuton scoring at Aldershot in the 2-2 draw last weekend and Wigan full-back Burke impressing on his first start at Macclesfield.
The strength up front, where Effiong and Tuton have joined Richie Bennett, Byron Harrison, Ross Hannah and Harry Panayiotou, especially pleases the AFC owner, and Casson said: “If you look at our squad, the squad Coxy has configured has quality all over it.
“The strike options he has open to him are incredible. Byron Harrison looks like he will be back in a couple of weeks, and the options up front are quality from start to finish.
“Tuton looks like he's the player that everybody always though he was. With him, Hannah, Harrison and Bennett, Effiong and Panayiotou, there are potentially goals all over.
“Thomas looks like he's exactly what we thought he was in midfield, and we need to watch the lad Thomson – he's supposed to be lightning.”