GARY ELPHICK admits the first part of Worthing Football Club’s season has gone better than expected but stressed nothing has been achieved yet.
Rebels sit second in the Ryman League South Division table, 12 points behind leaders Folkestone, with 18 games left each.
A number of teams are still in the hunt for a play-off place and Worthing joint manager Elphick said: “It’s been an excellent season so far and I’m over the moon to be second – we’d have bitten your hand off to be in this position at the start of the season.
“However, as I keep saying to the players, we haven’t achieved anything yet. We’ve got to make sure we finish in the play-off places and put as much pressure on Folkestone as we can. We were second best when we lost to them last month and that’s hopefully something which will motivate our players.
“Folkestone lost to Hythe recently and had a player sent off, so there will be twists and turns to come. We’ve just got to make sure we gain ground when they do lose but the main aim is to seal a play-off spot.
“We’ll just continue to take each game as it comes as there’s a tight cluster of teams below us. We can’t afford to take our eye off the ball as a lot of teams are gunning for the play-offs and we’ll be out of it if we do.”
Rebels’ match at Walton Casuals on Saturday was postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch, which means midfielder Brannon O’Neill still has three matches of his suspension to serve.
Matt Hurley had surgery on his knee injury this week and will miss the rest of the season but striker Ben Pope could be back in the squad for Saturday’s home game with play-off chasing Carshalton.
Attacking player Tony Nwachukwu, who joined Rebels in the summer from Horsham but is yet to play owing to a stomach strain, is also closing in on a return.
Elphick said: “Tony’s been working hard with a personal trainer and will still need to do a mini pre-season but hopefully he’ll be back in early February.
“He’ll need game time for the under-21s but if we can get him fit for the run-in, we’ll have some really exciting forward options.”
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