Despite his side’s recent upturn in form, manager Ian Evatt believes Barrow AFC have underachieved during the first half of their campaign in the National League.

The Bluebirds are in the relative safety of mid-table, after their 2-0 win over bottom club Braintree Town last Saturday lifted them up to 12th.

They did actually rise five places in the space of a week, thanks to gaining seven points from a possible nine, having been only three points above the relegation zone before then.

AFC tumbled down the table thanks to a run of five straight league defeats – with an FA Cup defeat at Chorley sandwiched in between – and a lack of consistency has held them back at previous points during the season.

When asked whether the team is where he’d hoped it would be, Evatt said: “No, I think we’ve underachieved.

“I said from minute one that I don’t go into anything trying to be mediocre and, for me, being in the middle of the table is mediocre. I don’t want that.

“I work very hard at my job – me and Peter [Atherton] plan and put as much information into the players as possible and at times we’ve been inconsistent.”

Barrow have, so far, only achieved back-to-back wins under Evatt once, with a habit of drifting off during matches costing them on more than one occasion.

However, it’s a habit that seems to have been kicked in recent games, with Evatt’s switch to a back three proving very successful, and the AFC boss is keen to continue the climb in the weeks and months ahead.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but I don’t think there’s a great deal to worry about in this division, I must say,” Evatt said.

“I don’t think there’s much in it, top to bottom, and if we can somehow keep everyone fit, keep everyone positive and on the front foot, then hopefully we can have a real push over Christmas and see where it takes us in January.

“But certainly, we’re not happy where we are, I’m not happy where we are, I want us to be the best we can possibly be.

“It’s a fantastic football club – the new owners that have stepped up, the supporters that have stepped up, the volunteers that have stepped up. We’re all in this together and together we can hopefully push forwards and make Barrow back into a Football League team.”