DEREK GOULDING believes Burscough showed both sides to their game over the Christmas period – and has challenged his players to maintain their improvement into the New Year.
The Linnets picked up four away points in three days, drawing at Radcliffe Borough on Boxing Day before winning 2-0 at Mossley 48 hours later.
They have lost just one of their last six league games – a 7-1 shelling at home to Darlington – and have moved up to 14th in the Evo-Stik First Division North table as a result, within three points of the top half.
Goulding says he was particularly impressed with the variation shown by his players, in what is always a demanding time of year.
He said: “We put in two completely different performances. Against Radcliffe we played what I would call our usual game; front foot, positive, trying to make the running.
“In the first half there, we were a joy to watch, and yet football is funny, we ended up needing a late goal just to get a point when I felt we deserved all three.
“Then at Mossley we had to play another style.
“We had to be tight, defend our box well and then pick our moments to play on the counter. We were clinical in the two goals we got, and in the end we had a few chances to grab more.
“That's pleasing, because it's probably the first time this season we have shown that side to our game, the first time we have dug deep like that away and got our rewards.
“I hope that the lads remember what it took to win that game, because that kind of performance can be very valuable in this league. You can't always dominate a game and play on the front foot.”
Goulding's side will see in the New Year at home to Ossett Town on Saturday, and the manager is confident they can build on what has been a promising few weeks, and achieve their season's aim – to improve upon last season's position.
“That's the target, and I think it's reachable,” he added.
““It's very tight from 7th to 14th, just six points separating us, so the chance is there if we can put wins together.
“We've opened up a nice gap between ourselves and the bottom sides now, which we needed to do. Now we can look up the league.”