Colne aim to start 2013 with a bang

Payton, second left, is pictured with Colne manager Nigel Coates, Lee Duerden, former player Paul Fildes and Shaun O'Neill.
Payton, second left, is pictured with Colne manager Nigel Coates, Lee Duerden, former player Paul Fildes and Shaun O'Neill.

REDS assistant boss Andy Payton is confident of starting 2013 with a bang.

Colne travel to Edge Green Street tomorrow to take on lowly St Helens Town looking to build on their recent form which has seen them lose just once in 12 league games. Payton is backing his side to secure maximum points but insists it will be a tough test having not played in three weeks due to postponements against AFC Liverpool, Silsden and Glossop North End.

“We played them the first game of the season at home and they beat us,” Payton said. “After the pre-season we’d had it proved to be a bit of a shock but we are a completely different side now to what we had on the opening day. They’ve dropped down the table since so we are looking to go there and win.

“It will be a tough game because we haven’t played over Christmas but hopefully the lads have looked after themselves. Every game is tough in the North West Counties but we’ve had one defeat in 12 league games so I’m backing us. They don’t win many games and they’ve sunk towards the bottom of the table so I’m confident.”

Payton added: “I’m expecting a battle so if we don’t go there with the right attitude then we won’t get anything out of the fixture. It’s up to Nigel Coates and myself to get the lads prepared mentally and physically for the game and get 2013 off to the best possible start.”

The XLCR Stadium outfit claimed their best ever finish in the non-league pyramid in the 2010/11 campaign as the Reds secured fifth spot with 73 points. And Payton believes that Colne, who boast the best goal difference in the division, can maintain their purple patch to achieve a similar finish.

“The ambition is to get Colne to their highest finish in this tier,” he said. “They finished fifth a couple of seasons ago which is there highest at this level so I’m hoping we can better that. We’ve done incredibly well considering the mass exodus at the start of the campaign. We just want to keep this run of form going and see where that takes us.”

Payton added: “We’ve got the division’s top scorer in Jason Hart and 24 goals is an outstanding achievement. He’s only 21 and he’s done exceptionally well. We’ve got a very talented squad of players and we are not that far away from being a top side.”

The former Claret admits the club haven’t made any movement in the transfer market just yet, but he’s refusing to rule out any activity completely. “There’s clubs with big squads at this level and obviously only 11 can start,” declared Payton.

“I think there’ll be quite a few players becoming available for us to look at because they’ll be looking to play football. We may want to strengthen in defence but we’ll be looking at all aspects. The lads we’ve got are doing great so we don’t want to change too much. The loan market is a possibility for us.”