McIntosh keen for focus as Bucks jostle for position

Martin McIntosh says his players must focus on their own job in hand as Buxton battle to secure a play-off spot.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 12:03 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:00 am
Martin McIntosh
Martin McIntosh

The Bucks dropped from second to fifth in the Evo-Stik Premier Division without kicking a ball this week, emphasising the tight nature of the division as the season enters its final stages.

But McIntosh says it’s all about concentrating on what happens in matches rather than with the league table as his players vie for a promotion spot.

He said: “Not playing on Saturday and other teams picking up points over the last few days has seen us drop to fifth, although it could have been worse as we might have fallen to eighth.

“But I always find league tables a bit of a distraction when it’s as tight as this. You can look at it and see yourselves in second and get a bit over-excited, then you drop down a few places and it can be quite deflating, even if you’ve had no control over it.

“So really the main thing is for us to concentrate on what we’re doing and ensure we keep the pressure on.

“There are still an awful lot of games to be played and so much can happen.”

Last Saturday’s visit of Ilkeston was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, meaning Buxton are next in action this weekend when they visit Barwell.

The two sides drew 0-0 at Buxton earlier in the season, with Barwell now just five points outside the play-off zone in 12th place, although having played more games than most of those above them.

McIntosh said: “When we played them earlier in the season they had a very young and energetic side that were well organised so we know we’ll be in for another tough game this time.

“They’ve got plenty to play for and such is the tight nature of the league, a few wins could have them right up there with us and challenging for a top five place.”

That game will be followed next Tuesday night with the visit of Ashton United, who sit 14th in the league and nine points off a play-off place.

Buxton won 3-1 at Hurst Cross when the two sides previously.

Meanwhile, McIntosh remains happy with his squad and confident they’ll be able to handle the rigours of a congested end-of-season schedule, although he is also confident he’ll be backed by the board should he require reinforcements.

He said: “I’ve always been very loyal to my players and stick by them, so I’m loathe to change too much for the sake of it. I’d bet I’ve probably made fewer changes to my team than anyone else in the division over the course of the season.

“But with so many games to play in a short space of time, they know that they have to be looked after and expecting them to play Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday every week is a big ask.

“So although I’d only want to bring in players who are as good or better than what we already have, should I decide to do so then the chairman has told me he’ll support that if we can find the right players.”

McIntosh added that the squad has a clean bill of health ahead of the trip to Barwell, with only Ricky Ravenhill missing as he sits out the final two matches of his suspension.

The Ilkeston game has been rearranged to take place on Tuesday, April 4 with a 7.45pm start.