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Folkestone Invicta boss says its too early to call them play-off contenders

By Steve Tervet

Neil Cugley insists it’s too early to call Folkestone play-off contenders after they reached the halfway point of the season fifth in Bostik Premier.

The manager watched his side beat Tonbridge 3-1 on Boxing Day, ending a month-long wait for a win and keeping themselves right in the promotion pack.

But with tough games littered throughout the second half of the season, Cugley isn’t getting carried away.

Neil Cugley Picture: Gary Browne

“It’s difficult to say,” he said when asked if Folkestone could stay the distance.

“I did say originally we’d have a look in December to see how good we could be and then we didn’t have a good December so it didn’t work out like I hoped.

“I honestly don’t know. We’ll wait and see.

“Not in our wildest dreams did we think we’d be up near the top.

“Our aim was to get to 46 points as soon as we could so to be nearly there already is a great achievement by the players.

“We’ll just keep plugging along and enjoying it. Our dip in form came when we got higher in the league so we don’t mention it to the players now, we just let them play.

“We want to get more points than we did last year because that means we’ve had a better season.”

Folkestone host lowly Burgess Hill on Saturday before tough trips to Margate on New Year’s Day and Dulwich on January 6.

Cugley said: “They’re all important games if you’re looking to get in the play-offs but that might be above our stature.

“If you’re enjoying your football you’ve got more chance of winning.

“We’ve over-achieved so far. We know what we pay and what we’ve got and we’ve done well with that.

“We’ve got to play Dulwich twice, Billericay twice, Hendon away and Staines away so there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs between now and the end of the

season.

“The players have done well. They had a dip in form but seem to have got that back now.”

Johan ter Horst has returned to Maidstone after his loan spell expired but Cugley otherwise has a full squad to pick from this weekend.

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