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Play-off berth is the target for Moatmen

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 06, 2014

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MARTIN Rowe has set the play-offs as a target for Gresley next season, and is confident his young team can push on.

The Moatmen had a strong finish to the 2013/14 campaign, winning six of their last eight games to claim ninth place in Evo-Stik NPL Division One South, their highest position since reforming.

And Rowe believes that if the club can improve their poor away form, they will be right up there.

“We built a lot of bridges last season, and now we’ve got to make sure we cross the river and start to climb the league,” he said.

“We finished the season well, but now we’ve got to push on.

“We’re a new and young team and we’ve been together six to eight months - so we should reap the benefits next season.

“One of our problems this season has been our away form, it hasn’t been good enough and that’s what we’ll be aiming to improve next year.”

After a poor start to the season, Gresley had good runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy last season, as well as beating the likes of Trafford, Grantham and Ilkeston, and taking Conference side Wrexham all the way.

“I think when we first started with the disastrous result against Mickleover and the internet going ballistic trying to get me out, they were difficult times for us, but we believed in the players and I think the fans have as well,” he said.

“We’ve turned it around and obviously we want to push on next year.

“We proved in certain games we can do it and just need to be consistent.”

Despite their strong finish, Gresley finished 18 points off the play-offs, but Rowe says if they hit the ground running in August, anything is possible.

“People like Mitch Hanson were using games to get fit last season, but this time they’re already fit and ready to go,” he said.

“It’s important we make a good start and we’re not playing catch-up.

“I’ve told the lads that the play-offs are the target, and that’s what the chairman wants and what I think the fans want.

“The support has been fantastic all season with an average gate of 270-plus and you can’t knock it.

“I think we’ve got some of the best supporters in Derbyshire.”

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