LIAM McDonald has urged Redditch United to build on a winning start to 2016 to ensure they can produce a ‘grandstand finish’ to the season.
Two goals from new signing Jazz Luckie and one from substitute Cameron Young secured a vital 3-1 victory against Merthyr Town on Saturday to push the Reds up the Southern League Premier Division table, now sitting fourth after the midweek games.
Boss McDonald was delighted to see signs of a return to top form – especially in the first half – and, more importantly, setting their stall out to keep pushing for the promotion play-offs.
The key now, says McDonald, is to increase the momentum in the next few games, starting with Saturday’s trip to Bideford.
“Ideally, I would want to be sitting top of the table ten points clear, but I have to say I’m happy with the season so far,” said McDonald.
“If you would have said at the start of the season that we would get to new year in the top three, three points behind second place with games in hand, having lost four games and with one of the best defensive records in the league, I would have been delighted.
“There’s been a bit of frustration because we have drawn so many games in the last couple of months but I was delighted with Saturday. In the first half, we were back to our best and then we made sure we defended well in the second half.
“The most important thing was getting three points on the board. That will give everybody a real lift.
“The challenge now is to try to get some consistency, to get a few more wins under our belt and then to see where it takes us.
“If we can get a run going to the end of January, we will be in a good position. Come the end of February and March, the pitches will get a bit firmer which suits the way we play and then I think we will be geared up for a grandstand finish.”
Although the Reds had a depleted squad without three key players last time out, they are set to complete a third signing in as many weeks by drafting in striker Danico Johnson.
The forward has been on contract after joining Hednesford Town in October from Coleshill Town but McDonald is confident the youngster will join the Reds on a permanent basis.
Johnson will be a third attacking addition, following the recent arrival of Robbie Thompson-Brown from Stratford Town and Luckie’s signing from Stafford Rangers.
Luke Shearer and Jamie Molyneux were both ruled out against Merthyr but are expected to return for the trip to north Devon and McDonald is looking forward to a real battle for attacking places.
“We’re starting to get a healthy squad numbers-wise, with players coming in and players getting fit,” said McDonald.
“It will give me a headache in choosing the team but that’s the sort of headache I enjoy.
“Jazz has come in and scoring two goals will be great for him.”