Warrington Town’s promotion push this season fell short, eventually finishing 10th in the Northern Premier League, but that’s a remarkable achievement considering they are just one season removed from storming the Northern Premier League North Division by 15 points.
Michael Monaghan and Josh Askew were both part of a dressing room this season that contained the majority of the league winners from the previous season, but did they learn anything from being around those players about how to win consistently at this level?
“You just have to keep worrying about yourselves,” said Askew. “You can’t think too much about how other teams are doing around you.”
The left-back joined on loan with just three months left of the season, from Championship side Blackburn Rovers, and he feels he’s grown a lot as a player since entering that winning dressing room.
He said: “I’ve really enjoyed myself and I’ve learnt a lot and grown a lot as a person. I feel like I’ve improved as a player being involved in a first team environment.”
“Ever since I came into non-league I’ve learnt something in every game I’ve played in, be it mentally, tactically or even physically. You have to learn how to be better for the next game.”
On what it takes to win consistently at this level, Askew feels it’s simply about how you handle the pressure.
He said: “The key for keeping in the run for the play-offs is to take every game as it comes. You know that every game is like a cup final to you, and they’re all equally massive games regardless of who you’re playing and what league position they are in.
“You can’t let the pressure of each game get to you.”
Town striker, Michael Monaghan, is also enthralled by the culture at the club, and shared his thoughts on what he feels he’s learned about what it takes to win regularly in non-league football.
He said: “It’s vital that you take each game as it comes. You really can’t afford to get ahead of yourselves and overlook certain teams. I don’t think it’s difficult at all, it’s just about concentration and preparation.
“All you can do is win the games that you control. There’s no point saying if ‘we win this game and they drop points there, then we will be in the playoffs’ because we’ve all seen teams can drop points against any team in this league, so it’s very much about taking care of yourselves and controlling what you can control.”
Warrington Town will hope that the mentality that’s been instilled by boss, Paul Carden, can carry over into the 2017/18 season, and another potential promotion push.