Buxton defender Ash Palmer says the club still has aspirations of achieving automatic promotion despite last weekend’s wobble.
The Bucks fell to defeat at Halesowen and consequently slipped down to fourth in the Evo-Stik Premier Division standings.
It’s the first time since September that the club has been perched outside the top three, indicating how rarely their standards have slipped this season.
Ahead of the final 14 league games, centre-half Palmer says the Bucks can still aim to overtake leaders Skelmersdale.
“It’s tight at the top at the minute,” Palmer said.
“There’s teams with a few games in hand.
“I think the play-offs would be more realistic.
“If you’d have offered us where we are now at the start of the season, then we’d certainly have taken it.
“It would obviously help if we get a run of wins together, like we did earlier in the season when we won nine on the bounce.
“We’ve still got teams like Ashton, Workington and Curzon to play.
“So if we can take points off those sides and get a good run going, then you never know where we’ll end up.”
In terms of how his own season has gone, Palmer is particularly pleased with the partnership he has struck at centre-half alongside Greg Young.
Young arrived at the Silverlands last summer and together the pair have been an integral part of a back-four that has chipped in with its fair share of goals.
Palmer added: “Last year I was chopping and changing partners.
“This year there’s more of a balance to the back-four.
“I’m predominantly on the right side and Greg goes on the left.
“He’s done well and he’s good to learn off.
“He’s played at a higher level and had a good career so it’s good playing alongside him.
“He’s always there if ever I want to chat or ask some advice.
“I got two goals in two games earlier this year!
“I should have scored last weekend (against Halesowen) too, but I hit the post.
“Obviously, I want to get more goals in my game.
“Greg’s chipped in too (with six goals) and it helps if the rest of us are taking a bit of pressure off the strikers.
“I know they’ve done well this season, with the amount they’ve scored but we can’t expect them to do it every single week.
“It’s up to the rest of the team to help them out.”
Buxton are back at home on Saturday for the first game on the Silverlands pitch in six weeks.
FA Cup giantkillers Blyth Spartans are the visitors.