It will be a tough end to the season says Attfield

PAUL ATTFIELD says his players will have to push themselves to the limit during the second half of the season in order to win promotion.

The Crows currently sit on top of the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division table after two impressive victories over the Christmas and New Year period – firstly a 4-0 win over Berkhamsted, followed up with a 7-0 thrashing of Biggleswade United at Garden Walk on Monday.

However there is a strong sense that the real hard work still lies ahead – with January proving a particularly challenging month for Royston with nine games in 25 days – six of which are cup competitions. But Attfield wouldn’t have it any other way, considering this time last season the league campaign was effectively done and dusted, while his team had also crashed out of most of the cup competitions.

And the team is clearly in no mood to rest on their laurels, as they trained on both Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in preparation for their two matches.

“We played really well against Biggleswade,” said Attfield. “We trained on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, which is not convenient, but it was something different and we learnt from last year where we looked very leggy over the Christmas period. And it’s been vindicated because we’ve scored 11 goals in two games, keeping two clean sheets.

“I wasn’t disappointed with the two games we lost (to AFC Dunstable and Stotfold before Christmas) because they weren’t poor performances, and we’ve come back well. We can’t look back on defeats – we’ve got to look forward because we are top of the league and in an excellent position.

“It will be a really tough end to the season, and whereas this time last year we were out of everything, it’s been completely reversed this season.”

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The Crows host in-form Leverstock Green on Saturday, who are unbeaten in six matches, and Attfield expects a difficult afternoon.

“They are on a decent run and we always have a tough game against them,” he added. “They are 13 points behind us going into the game so they will want to beat us and get that down to 10 so they will be up for it.”

Attfield should have a near full-strength team to choose from, with the only definite absentee being Ashley Grinham, who is recovering from a broken toe.