BOSS Neil Mitchell insists he is in it to win it after Stourbridge bounced back to within a point of arch rivals Macclesfield - writes MARTYN SMITH.
The Stourton Park director of rugby is targeting top spot and automatic promotion from National League Two North after an away day 27-35 win at Otley last Saturday.
He got an extra boost after a surprise slip by Macclesfield who lost at home to Birmingham and Solihull, quashing suggestions Stour were out of the running for first place.
Mitchell said: “I never thought that, we are not here to be second or third, we are here to get promoted.
“Otley is a difficult place to go and we gained ten points in actuality.
“It is really between four sides to see who is going to finish first, every game is a big game.
“What we do now is going to influence what happens at the end of the season, we need consistencey.
“We have a lot of quality in the squad and that is why I have been vociferous in my criticism of the players.”
Stourbridge returned to winning ways, following their defeat to Macclesfield, with tries from Nigel Mukarati, Nile Dacres, Adam Sturdy and a brace from Stefan Shilingford who won his praise from his boss.
“Shilli scored a great try, it is the first time he has really backed himself, he was like a bulldozer going through a brick wall,” added Stourbridge’s top man.
Victory at Otley did not come without a price, number eight Chris Depper was taken off with an ankle injury and James Rodley and was red carded in the second half for a high tackle.
Stourbridge supremo Mitchell still believes his side is losing too many points to unforced errors and says concentrating on the basics will be a key part of preparations for Luctonians’ visit to Stourbridge on Saturday (3pm ko).
He’s also sure his troops will have to deal with the pressure of being one of the region’s top sides, particularly with the likes of Bromsgrove, DKs and Birmingham and Solihull in the same division.
Mitchell added: “Every Midlands side wants to beat Stourbridge, every game is a cup final.
“We have a plan and we need to stick to it, we need to trust our system.
“We went through all the emotions last season and we have learned lessons.”