DEREK GOULDING admits Burscough may find it hard to hold on to their key players in the coming weeks, but says the club will do everything in its power to do so.
The Linnets have embarked upon a period of consolidation this season, following relegation to the Evo-Stik First Division North. Their 1-0 victory over Bamber Bridge on New Year's Day leaves them 11th in the table, and harbouring tentative ambitions of mounting a push for the play-offs in the second half of the campaign.
Key to that will be the form of players such as strike duo Niall Cummins and Will Jones. The pair have netted 21 league goals between them this season, and Goulding admits there have been rival clubs sniffing round his prized pairing of late.
“You will always get that with players who are scoring goals,” he said.
“Everybody is after a player who can stick the ball in the net, so that's to be expected.
“The worry is that you will get a player, or a couple of players, who are playing well, and then lose them. It's happened countless times in the past, but the hope is that we can keep hold of those players, and that we can continue to build the kind of spirit and togetherness that we have at the club currently.
“The players are happy at the moment.
“We probably need to improve our win rate, but we are playing well and the spirit in the group is very good. Hopefully that's enough to keep hold of our better players.”
Burscough enjoyed a mixed festive period, with the Bamber Bridge win coming off the back off two varying performances; a fine 3-3 draw at promotion favourites Skelmersdale United and a disappointing 4-2 loss at Cammell Laird.
“There were some positives and negatives,” said Goulding. “We were a little disappointed not to have won at Skem, having been 2-0 up. We felt there were one or two decisions that went against us on the day, but you have to say that was a good result.
“The Cammell Laird game was a bit disappointing in that we had the lead and we should have been able to consolidate on it. But maybe we were a little tired from the Skem game, and we let it go towards the end, which was disappointing.
“But it was good to get a win on the board against Bamber Bridge.”
This week, Burscough host Lancaster City at Victoria Park, with Goulding hoping for a run of results to push them up towards the top of the table.
“There are a few clubs in a similar position to us,” he said.
“Clubs who know that if they can put a run together, they can put themselves in the picture.
“Our aims are more long term than short term, but we know that we are in good form, scoring goals and playing well, so if we can carry that on then we can see where it takes us.”
Defender Liam Duff is a doubt for the Lancaster fixture, having picked up a knock. Otherwise, Goulding has a fully-fit squad to choose from.