Colne have the character to regain top spot says Cunny

Colne FC: Steve Cunningham.
Colne FC: Steve Cunningham.
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Colne FC boss Steve Cunningham doesn’t believe that losing top spot will impact on his players psychologically.

The Reds have been dominant in the North West Counties Premier Division for the majority of the campaign but have recently been usurped by Runcorn Linnets.

The new league leaders have opened up a six-point gap at the summit having played three games more but Cunningham believes his players have the mentally capacity to address that.

“In terms of character I have a very strong dressing room,” he said. “The response to the 4-0 defeat against Runcorn Linnets shows you that.

“It was only our second defeat of the season yet people were saying that our bubble had burst. They were questioning whether we would bounce back.

“We went on to beat a strong Bamber Bridge team in the cup and then won games against Congleton and AFC Blackpool. We’ve shown that we’ve got character.”

Cunningham added: “Being second takes that limelight off you and eases some of the pressure. Ultimately we want to win our games in hand and get back up there. We’ve got a job to do but it’s in our hands.

“As long as we stay focussed our quality will shine through. I’m definitely confident that we can win the title after seeing the majority of the league now.

“I’d back the players to stay mentally strong and to handle the pressure that builds at the back end of the season. I feel we are destined to win this league.”

With 23 league games remaining, a MEN United Cup quarter-final to contend with and a LFA Challenge Trophy semi-final tie still to play, Cunningham has sought inspiration from Glossop North End’s model of success.

Last season the Hillmen secured promotion to the Evo-Stik First Division North while winning the League Cup and reaching the final of the FA Vase.

“We identified what Glossop did to win the league and how they equipped themselves,” he said. “We had the foresight to look at their model.

“At this moment in time we’re okay. I’m in the fortunate position where I have a big squad and there are people who want to join us. There are players that we could bring in.”

He added: “There will come a time where I’ll look to strengthen so that we can address any injuries or suspensions that arise. I’ve got the backing of the club to do that.

“Glossop were going for promotion and were in a lot of cup competitions but they were still relentless. They had plenty of strength in depth and we’ll need the same.”