Hucknall staying grounded as another promotion chase hots up

Hucknall town manager Andy Graves.
Hucknall town manager Andy Graves.

Victory over Gedling MW on Saturday would open a 13-point gap between fourth-placed Hucknall Town and their fifth-placed visitors.

But manager Andy Graves insists the Yellows will not get over-excited and start throwing money at a possible promotion.

Graves spoke to supporters at a special fans' forum before last weekend's 4-0 home win over Kimberley MW and believes fans understand why the club are trying to do.

The top four, possibly top five, will be promoted and Graves said: “Another good win on Saturday will consolidate that fifth place even more and put us further ahead.

“We will keep accumulating the points and see where it gets us without being stupid.

“But we made it clear at the forum we are not suddenly going to start throwing money at it, even though we're in a pretty good position.

“It's better to get there by natural selection and do what we're doing rather than chuck money at it and, if it doesn't work, you've messed yourself up financially and messed everything else up you have put in place. It's about principles as well.

“I think it went down okay with the fans to be honest.

“If we only just missed out at the end of the season we would be frustrated. But I think the club would be in an even better position next season.”

He added: “We would expect to be on the new ground sometime next season so you have to take into consideration what it will cost to run that too.

“We can't suddenly start throwing money at the football as looking after the club still comes first.

“We made fans aware of the costs of just the actual day to day running of the club and I think they appreciated it.”

Graves was grateful of the chance to speak to fans directly.

“It's far better doing it face to face than on social media where I can read it but I am not allowed respond,” he said.

“To be fair a lot of it is said without knowledge.

“Hopefully one or two at the meeting know now and can look at the club in a different light and how it has to tick. It was positive.”

On Saturday's 4-0 win, he said: “It was great to keep a clean sheet and put some penalties away as well, so we're happy with that – and with other results going for elsewhere, even happier.

“Saturday is now an important game.

“We felt as though we should have beaten Gedling at their ground even though we were not playing particularly well at that time.

“Then we lost to them on penalties in the Notts Senior Cup.

“We were very unlucky in the cup game.

“They were hanging on at times for extra-time and penalties. We created chances but just didn't take them.

“We will now be looking to put in a good performance on Saturday.”

Graves hopes to bolster the ranks for the run-in with up to three new signings.

“We are in the process of signing a striker/forward player and wee have a couple of things in the pipeline,” he said.

“It will be all about people coming here for the right reasons and not for the money. They have to be the right person with the right mentality for Hucknall.

“We are looking at a goalkeeper as well, and I am talking to another striker, too, who I have been after a long while.

“I am hoping I can persuade him before the cut-off as I think we still need some competition up there.

“In an ideal world it would be two strikers and a keeper over the next couple of weeks.”