Guiseley boss concerned over County Cup final date adding to the demands on his side

Wharfedale Observer: Steve Kittrick Steve Kittrick

Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick is unhappy about his team having to play four games in eight days.

The Lions’ early April schedule includes away matches on Easter Saturday against Colwyn Bay and on Saturday, April 14 against Stalybridge Celtic, plus hosting Altrin-cham on Easter Monday.

That would be fair enough but squeezed into the equa-tion is the West Riding Coun-ty Cup final against Bradford Park Avenue next Wednesday at Valley Parade.

Kittrick said: “I have al-ways treated the County Cup with the utmost respect but we are facing four matches in eight days and the league is my priority.

“I am sure that Bradford Park Avenue feel the same way but the County FA have got to look at the scheduling.

“They must know in the summer when the next Eas-ter will fall.”

However, on the Blue Square Bet North front, the garden is looking rosier for Guiseley.

A run of six wins, a draw and a defeat has led to Kitt-rick being named manager of the month for March and has also lifted the Lions from third to second in the table.

The award of the monthly gong often results in sub-standard displays but Guise-ley started April with a 3-2 home victory over Gloucester City, with Kittrick revealing: “My wife says I have put that myth to bed!”

He added: “It is now a two-horse race for the title bet-ween ourselves and Hyde, who we trail by two points.

“The only way that it won’t be a two-horse race is if we each lose all our remaining games, and that is not going to happen. But Hyde will be looking over their shoulders at us now.”

One reason why Guiseley have climbed from fourth in February to second now is their ability to turn what is a losing result or a draw at half-time into wins in the second half.

Kittrick said: “I say what I have to say at half-time but there are a number of rea-sons why – the half-time team talk, the players’ fitness and the players’ intelligence have probably all played a part.”

Guiseley trailed Gloucester 1-0 at half-time on Tuesday at Nethermoor in arctic condi-tions but turned things around to win 3-2.

The Lions lost keeper Steve Drench to a blow on the nose tellingly delivered by Darren Edwards, and striker Jason Price to a hamstring injury after he was brought down in the area.

Kittrick said: “Steve should be okay for Colwyn Bay but Jason could be out for two or three weeks but to attract 487 fans in conditions that were absolutely unbelievable was a superb effort, and we are now seeing supporters with Leeds and City shirts too.”

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