Banbridge Town boss Ryan Watson is hoping his side’s recent run will help make it a Merry Christmas for the club’s supporters.
The side ended the year on a run of eight games without defeat, having lifted themselves out of the relegation places and up to ninth place in Championship Two.
They also secured a safe passage through to the next rounds of both the Irish and Intermediate Cups.
“It’s good for the supporters that we have given them plenty to cheer about in recent weeks,” said the manager.
“Hopefully they have enjoyed this spell. They deserve a lot of credit for their loyalty and for always staying with us. They have been very supportive and we are all very grateful for that.”
The good run was as much a relief as a treat for Town supporters, who had gone through the mill in the early part of the season.
The team’s opening six Championship Two matches yielded just two points before Town’s resurgence began with solid 0-0 draws against Moyola and Newington.
“It’s been a strange season so far,” reflected manager Watson.
“The early matches in the season were very frustrating because we couldn’t get everybody fit and available.
“We wanted to get the season off to a good start but we didn’t manage it and once you get onto a run, be it a winning run or a losing run, it can be hard to get out of it.
“We got into a rut but once we got our full squad available, it made a huge difference, as we always believed it would.
“The season has been split into those two distinct parts but hopefully that first run is our bad spell over for the whole season.”
The recent statistics certainly make for pleasing reading. Town have brought home 12 points from their last six league games, keeping a stunning five clean sheets.
However, the boss isn’t letting himself take any joy from such figures.
“I don’t look at it all that closely,” he said. “You can’t get dragged into that and start believing it all. You end up getting into the wrong mindset. What we need to do is to keep our heads in it.
“We’re out of the relegation places now but it’s so tight across the league. All we are focused on is getting as far away from those bottom spots as possible and seeing where that takes us.”