Canaries boss 'pinching himself' over league position
PUBLISHED: 09:14 09 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:20 09 January 2016
Mark Burke says he wants his players to enjoy themselves now they’ve risen to third in the Southern Premier table, but added that there is plenty of hard work ahead this season.
The Canaries travel to fellow promotion hopefuls Weymouth today (Saturday), who themselves are seventh in the table, as they look to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches.
But while Burke is pleased at his young side’s progress this season, he remains level-headed about the days and weeks to come.
Starting this weekend on the south coast, Hitchin have eight weeks of playing Saturday-Monday or Saturday-Tuesday up until the end of February.
Two of those matches are cup games when Burke will be able to rotate his squad. However, the Hitchin boss is aware that the job in the league is only half done and there is plenty more hard work ahead.
“I’m pinching myself, and we have to make the most of it while it lasts. Let’s enjoy it and take each game as it comes,” Burke told the Comet.
“There is a real test against Weymouth away from home, it’s very difficult.”
Burke said he would be happy with a point on his travels, but when prompted on that target he added: “If you want to be right up there you have to average four points per two games. You win at home, and you get a point away. That’s the rule of thumb we try to work to, and we’re not far off that.
“[Against] Bedworth [on Tuesday] whilst they are in the bottom three they’ve been playing better than that. They’ve picked up a bit themselves and they gave us a good game.
“On another day they might have got a point, and I think it’ll be tough for other teams to go there so I was delighted to come away with three points rather than [the one] we budgeted for.”
Burke added: “It’s twice a week until the end of February, two months of matches. There’s lots of away games at Leamington, Poole, Redditch. They are all the teams up there.
“We’ve got Stratford one midweek. They’re a bit of a dark horse and they’ve got some games in hand and have had some great results.
“We’ve got a couple of cup games [including at home to Cheshunt on Monday] and that will give us respite.
“It will allow us to rest players for the league and to give other players vital minutes.
“We’re going to get injuries and suspensions and the squad isn’t as big as I’d probably like it to be and I’ve got my eye on a couple [of players] at the moment.”