SECOND in the table, 13 league games without defeat and with an unbeaten away record in league fixtures.

One could be forgiven for thinking things could not get much better for Warrington Rylands a third of the way through the Northern Premier League campaign.

Having taken a deeper dive into his side’s performances this week, however, Michael Clegg believes they could be sat in an even better position.

That stance may surprise many but despite their lofty position, the Blues boss insists there is plenty his side can improve upon ahead of two home fixtures this week – they welcome Guiseley to Gorsey Lane on Saturday before Marske United make the trip on Tuesday evening.

He specifically his side’s goalscoring record – their 21 in 14 games is the lowest among teams in the upper portion of the table – and the fact only Bamber Bridge in 17th have drawn more games than his side.

Warrington Guardian: Rylands have drawn five league games this season, including their trip to Gainsborough Trinity pictured hereRylands have drawn five league games this season, including their trip to Gainsborough Trinity pictured here (Image: Mark Percy)

“We gave the lads Tuesday off as we had a few niggles but myself and the coaches went through everything,” he said.

“We watched games back, got some stats and averages with the analysis guys and we’ve found we could have been doing even better.

“We’re the lowest scorers among the top nine sides in the league, but we’ve got the best defence.

“Against Workington, we had 21 shots and 12 on target – watching that game back and games we’ve drawn at Atherton, Bamber Bridge, Gainsborough and Lancaster, we should have won those games.

“We’ve been in a situation in that we’re flying and we’re happy, but we should have more points and goals than we’ve got.

“We’ve room for improvement – we’re coming into a tough run now because people’s expectations have lifted.

“We’ve got two home games coming up now and people will be thinking it’s six easy points, but it doesn’t work like that in the Northern Premier League.

“We try not to look too far ahead but this team still hasn’t hit its ceiling. I think we’ll hit a bit of a lull at some point because that’s football.”

Blues fine start to the campaign has got plenty talking about whether or not a sustained promotion bid could be made.

The gap between themselves and those outside the play-off spots is currently seven points, they have put themselves in the conversation at the very least.

While the group have their own targets, Clegg insists that kind of pressure has not been put on them from chairman Mark Pye and the board of directors.

Warrington Guardian: League leaders Radcliffe, who won 4-0 at Gorsey Lane on the opening day in Blues' only league loss thus far, sit seven points clear at the summitLeague leaders Radcliffe, who won 4-0 at Gorsey Lane on the opening day in Blues' only league loss thus far, sit seven points clear at the summit (Image: Mark Percy)

“As a group, we spoke about wanting to be in the play-offs. From above, it’s different,” he said.

“When I came in, we had a remit of driving the budget down, getting to summer and taking stock.

“We did that, the budget got cut which it had to and from the chairman, he simply wants a team he can be proud of full of lads who want to be here that plays a good brand of football.

“Straight away, I said I could deliver that – there’s no target about where we want to finish.

“I’ve been able to drum into the lads that simply giving everything they’ve got is going to be good enough for this football club, and they will continue to do that.

“Win, lose or draw, it doesn’t matter because we’re delivering what we’ve been asked to.

“The chairman has taken all of the pressure off us and it’s created and environment we’re all happy in.

“If we still find ourselves in that top five or six as the season goes on, it may be that we have to start trying to cling onto 1-0 wins and things like that because you don’t want to drop out but as it stands, we’re playing with no pressure.

“We’re trying not to think too much about where we are.”

Potentially aiding their bid to keep themselves in the mix is a run of games on home soil, with four of their next five matches – and six of the nine they will play before Christmas – to be played at Gorsey Lane.

Warrington Guardian: Six of the nine league games Rylands will play before Christmas are home fixturesSix of the nine league games Rylands will play before Christmas are home fixtures (Image: Mark Percy)

The first of those is against a Guiseley side that sits just outside the play-off spots having won five of their last seven matches in all competitions, with their only defeat in that time coming via a penalty shoot-out in the FA Trophy against Walsall Wood.

As such, Clegg was quick to play down any notion that their league position made them favourites.

“We’re humble enough to know that we can be turned over,” he said.

“I honestly think Guiseley will get into the play-offs this year, so they will be looking at Saturday and seeing an opportunity.

“It will be a really close game and they’re a similar sort of team to us – they’re athletic and have a good spirit about them.

“I don’t think Saturday will be easy at all and I think if you were a betting man, you’d put us level pegging. The league table would probably make us favourites but I don’t think we are.

“We then have Marske, who have picked up as well.

“Like any two-game week, you’re looking for four to six points and if we can win on Saturday, it takes a bit of pressure off Tuesday.

“We’ll worry about Marske after Guiseley, we’ll be prepared and we’ll give everything.”