First team captain Conor Tinnion says Reds are ‘only halfway there’ heading into 2020 as league leaders.
Tinnion spoke at length following the 4-1 win over Dunston on Boxing Day, talking goals, ‘brilliant’ support and reflected on where the team sit going into the new decade.
He also paid tribute to retiring teammate Gari Rowntree, which you can read here.
The skipper scored once in each half to open his account for the campaign, and said: “It hasn’t been often this season [scoring]!
“It’s probably been overdue but I managed to get two.”
With 40 points and 40 goals scored in the North West Division of the BetVictor Northern Premier League, Reds are in much better festive spirits than at this time last year.
Tinnion discussed the feeling around Borough Park and touched how things have changed in 12 months.
“In the same way last season as when things are going against us, which compounded and things just got worse, this year those same things have probably gone for us,” he explained.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made those things go for us but I wouldn’t try to underplay what the manager’s done.
“The lads have bought into it and there’s been a good feeling around the place – confidence is growing.”
So what’s the big difference? Tinnion elaborated.
“The belief, more than anything, is the main difference from last year.
“You can see the players looking forward to playing, they can’t wait and that’s what the manager has tried to put into us.”
However, the squad and their leader aren’t getting carried away sitting five points clear at the summit, as he stated: “We are top but we’re only halfway there.
“None of the lads would think anything else, but it’s a fine line between knowing how good we are and not being complacent, taking things for granted.
“At the minute, we’ve got that balance right and need to keep going because we’re there to be shot at now.
“We’re going to have to get used to teams playing against us and it being their biggest game of the season.
“I think the lads just need to embrace it in the second half of the season and enjoy it.”
673 were packed inside Borough Park on Thursday, and Tinnion revealed how much a difference it can make on the pitch.
“I’m pleased a big crowd came to show Gaz their appreciation.
“It’s the same as when we go away, with the fun bus and what have you, when all you can hear is your own fans it makes a big difference.
“At home, the Town End when we’re drawing or losing makes a massive difference. You can see the lads get an extra yard and extra burst of energy.
“When it gets going like today, it helps.”
With 2020 looming and the target title coming into range, Reds are the pacesetters and the skipper is wisely anticipating the rollercoaster ride to come.
“Don’t be under any illusions, we’re not going to cruise it,” remarked Tinnion.
“We’re going to have some times where teams will try and frustrate us, and that’s where we’ll need that extra 2% or whatever.
“It lifts the lads and there’ll definitely be times where we need the support. Like today, when we had the potentially sticky period at 3-1, it was brilliant having them.”
Reds travel to West Yorkshire to face 7th-placed Pontefract Collieries at Beechnut Lane on New Year’s Day, kick-off 3pm.