Five straight wins in February have transformed Ballyclare Comrades from Championship 2 also-rans to promotion favourites.
Their fabulous 15-points haul has hoisted Eddie Hill’s lads into the top three and with 12 fixtures remaining the boss is confident he can keep the pressure on long-time leaders Knockbreda.
“Let’s not get carried away with these five wins on the bounce,” said Hill. “There will be no talk of promotion in the dressing room at this stage; my approach will be one game at a time, with our immediate focus entirely on the match at Allen Park against Chimney Corner on Saturday.
“Yes, we have been going along nicely, due mainly to the amount of hard work the lads put in during training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, but we now enter the business end of the season, and will have to maintain the momentum,” he said.
Asked about the crucial matches pending against Armagh City, home and away, and Knockbreda away, Eddie replied: “These clashes are no different from the others - they will all be difficult assignments, and I will drum it in to the players to treat each fixture from now on as a potential league decider.
“The signings during the January transfer window have proved to be crucial to our recent successes. Even without Chris Getty, Chris Shimmon, Glenn Pierce, Chris Monteith and Gary Brown on Saturday we proved to be too strong for quite a good Annagh United team.
“The trip to Annagh was always going to be difficult, but after Andy Simms got us off to a flying start with a brilliant early goal, we never looked like losing.
“I suppose we will be dubbed favourites to collect three points against Chimney Corner this weekend, but as far as I am concerned it’s just another match requiring full focus and commitment. Getty and Ricky Higgins are major injury doubts for this one,” added Eddie.
During February Comrades won all five league fixtures, scoring 14 goals while conceding only two, so now it’s on to March when the fans will be hoping for continued success against Chimney Corner, Armagh City, Glebe Rangers, Wakehurst and Donegal Celtic.