Paul Malone has conceded it is going to be “very hard” for Corby Town to force their way into the play-off picture in the Calor League Premier Division.
The Steelmen joint-managers Tommy Wright and Andrew Wilson had made a top-five finish their target at the turn of the year with their team, at the time, having a number of games in hand on those above them.
But last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Chippenham Town, which was preceded by a 1-0 home defeat to Frome Town, have left Corby 14 points off the play-off places with matches now beginning to run out.
And while popular central defender Malone hasn’t given up hope completely, he acknowledges that the task is becoming increasingly harder.
However, he does believe the club now have a “solid base” on which to build in the future.
The Steelmen are due to take on Truro City at Steel Park tomorrow (Saturday), before heading to struggling Bedford Town on Tuesday.
And Malone said: “It is going to be very hard to get into the play-offs.
“At the start of the season I think everyone wanted us to go and win promotion at the first attempt but it is not very often you see that happen.
“We had a change of management early on and whenever a new manager, or in our case managers, come in, it will always take time for them to get things how they want it.
“The most important thing was making sure there was a solid base installed and I think we have that now. The managers are ambitious and they want to progress.
“They have already built a squad that has shown it is capable of playing good football.
“We have proven that against a number of the top sides.
“And if we can keep that squad together and add in the right areas then I think we will do well in the future.
“There is still a hope of us reaching the play-offs and while that is there we won’t give up.
“But our problem has been against the teams below us rather than above us. We haven’t been clinical enough at times and it has cost us.”
Corby are set to include new signing Claudiu Hoban, who has joined on a dual registration from Histon, in their squad for tomorrow’s clash while midfielder Nathan Rooney has been released.