Colne chairman Ryan Haigh not giving up just yet on automatic promotion as champions

Colne forward Reece Webb-Foster
Colne forward Reece Webb-Foster
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Colne FC chairman Ryan Haigh isn’t giving up on his dreams of winning the Evo-Stik League West Division title.

The Reds are currently on the periphery of the play-off places with 10 games remaining.

But, having beaten table topping Atherton Collieries in their last outing, the 43-year-old is determined to land the ultimate prize.

Steve Cunningham’s side are challenging for honours for the fourth season in succession, a sequence engineered by the club’s capture of the North West Counties Premier Division crown.

“I think a lot of it stems back to when we had a change of mindset back in October 2017,” said Haigh.

“We looked at a few things and realised we needed to plan and devise a model to follow.

“It was something that would help us in the long term, rather than doing things for a short term fix.

“We brought in a certain profile of player that enabled us to plan for the future.

“We put eight or nine players under contract last season because we wanted to make sure that we kept hold of them.

“We knew rivals would look at our players because there was a lot of interest in them.”

With their fixture against second place Radcliffe falling at the hands of Storm Gareth, the Reds are scheduled to travel to high-flying Mossley tomorrow, and tackle play-off hopefuls Prescot Cables on Tuesday at The Sovereign Play Stadium.

And former Nelson and Colne College student Haigh believes that the forthcoming games could decide their fate this season.

“I think the next two games will definitely define where we’ll finish,” he said.

“If we can pick up maximum points and capitalise on the situation, then that will put us in a strong position to challenge for the top.

“We are where we want to be. We’d prefer to be top, we want to go up this season.

“We are right in the mix and I think we’ve got quite a friendly run in.

“There are points there for us to take and teams around us play each other.

“We’ve got some big games coming up and if we can get results in those then I’d fancy us to be pushing right up at the top instead of the play-offs.

“We always believe that we can win every game and win the league.

“People might think we are delusional but while there’s still a chance we are going to go for it.”

The Reds’ push for glory has been bolstered by the capture of Coventry City striker – and former Shuttleworth College pupil – Morgan Crowther while Reece Webb-Foster returned to the club before the deadline.

“We are not cutting back and settling for the play-offs,” Haigh said. “We’ll continue to put the pressure on.

“We have to make sure it’s all in our own hands.

“We want to finish as high as possible and not leave it up to a lottery.

“If we’re successful this time then I do think we can push on for another couple of promotions and we hope to have Steve Cunningham here for that. He’s an ambitious person and we’re an ambitious club.

“If we are successful we would like him to be involved.”