LEE Sinnott called for his Altrincham players to finish the season with a flourish as they savoured the prospect of a bumper turn-out for Saturday’s Moss Lane showdown with play-off candidates FC Halifax.
Alty’s play-off hopes were finally scuppered after they followed a 3-1 home defeat by leaders Hyde with a last-gasp 3-2 setback at second-placed Guiseley on Easter Monday.
Sinnott already has one eye on plans for next season but is adamant his side end this one on a high, starting against a Halifax outfit who took more than 800 fans to their recent game at Stalybridge.
"If you look at the season as a whole, we have scored enough goals but conceded too many, and, consequently, we have come up a bit short," said the Alty manager.
"I do happen to think things have gone against us at times, and we haven’t had the rub of the green over so many incidents, from deflected shots to handballs and offsides.
"When you’re at the top, like Hyde, Guiseley and Nuneaton, and you are building momentum, those breaks go your way. But that’s football, and we have to accept our performances have not been perfect. Nowhere near. There is much to be done, and we are working behind the scenes to try and make sure we are better next season.
"I have already started thinking about who will be with us, and where we need strengthening, and I will continue observing the players between now and the end of this campaign. Young Duncan Whatmore has been getting more game time, and will continue to, so there are options.
"It is disappointing the play-offs have now gone, but we are determined to finish on a positive note. We have lost three on the bounce, which is our worst sequence of the season. Saturday will mean we have faced the top four in as many games, but we don’t want another defeat.
"I thought we started really well against Hyde and Guiseley and deserved to be ahead each time. We conceded goals we shouldn’t have done against Hyde, which put us on the back foot, and though our energy levels were superb against Guiseley, we didn’t get the breaks in the second half. It just showed that when things go against you, they really go against you."
Alty are hopeful Simon Richman, Chris Lynch and Nicky Clee will be fit for Saturday.