NIALL CUMMINS admits Burscough will need a “miracle” to secure a play-off berth this season – but says their aim is to put the pressure on the teams above them between now and the end of the campaign.
The Linnets' impressive 2-1 win at promotion hopefuls New Mills on Saturday leaves them 10th in the Evo-Stik First Division North table. Derek Goulding's men are nine points behind fifth-placed Curzon Ashton, who occupy the final play-off spot, with ten league games remaining.
Cummins, who scored both of Burscough's goals at New Mills, says he is realistic about his side's promotion chances this season, but has refused to give up hope just yet.
“Realistically, we know we're going to need to go on a miracle run if we are to get into the play-offs,” the striker said. “We have beaten the big sides – Curzon, Skelmersdale, New Mills – but we need to cut out the mistakes and get a bit more consistency into our results.
“I think maybe sometimes we let ourselves get dragged down to our opponents' level, and we can be a bit tentative. But when we get at teams and take the game to them, we can turn anyone over.”
Cummins is the Greens' top scorer this season, plundering 19 goals despite struggling for much of the early part of the season with an Achilles problem.
“It was an innocuous injury really, sustained in the second game of the season,” he said. “It's been a really frustrating season in that respect, stop-start, and in a way I'm already looking to next season.
“I do look at the goalscoring charts and I set myself targets and want to catch the players above me. I've got ten games left now, and I would hope to score at least five more goals.
“But the good thing at Burscough is that we have been finding goals from everywhere. Liam Caddick has chipped in well recently, and before that Will Jones was scoring for fun. It takes the load off you as a striker, because you don't feel like its just down to you to find the goals.”
Cummins joined a Burscough side that was hurtling towards relegation around this time last season, but instantly found himself among the goals. There have been whispers of interest from other clubs around the non-league circuit, but the former AFC Blackpool man says he intends to repay his current club for the faith shown in him.
“I owe Derek an awful lot,” he said. “He took a chance on me, and I know that he watched me closely. He gave me a chance and has always been true to his word with me, and with all of the players.
“I'm eager to repay him. At times this season I've maybe even been too eager, because I've rushed back from injury. But I'm happy at Burscough, and I want to repay them for what they've done for me, especially during the early parts of the season when I wasn't playing.”
Burscough host local rivals Prescot Cables at Victoria Park this Saturday (kick off 3pm). Goulding will make checks on the fitness of Darren Brookfield, Phil Clarke and Paul Williams ahead of the game.