BACK-TO-BACK defeats have convinced Alsager Town boss Greg Clowes of one thing - that his side can win the league next year!
A narrow 2-1 Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final defeat to Crewe Alex last Tuesday, coupled with an unfortunate 1-0 League Cup third round reverse at Colne on Saturday, look disheartening on paper.
But Clowes believes his side have shown enough in recent weeks to demonstrate that, with a couple of additions to the playing staff, they could challenge for the North West Counties Division One title next season.
He said: 'I have said all along that we have brought in some quality players this season and it takes time to gel. But we have the makings of a top side and I honestly believe that next year we can win this league.
'I feel we need a couple of experienced strikers who know how to be at the right place at the right time.'
The full-time training Crewe enjoy as a professional side showed in the end last week, as goals from Andy White and Richie Sutton cancelled out Carl Espley's opener.
On Saturday, Alsager dominated throughout but were met by a Colne keeper in inspired form. When the home side scored direct from a corner on 71 minutes Clowes admitted it was just not their day.
He said: 'For the Crewe game we got tired but we should have been three or four up before they had got going. We did well but Crewe were direct and got to grips with us in the second half.
'I was very gutted on Saturday. Their goalkeeper pulled out four absolutely top-drawer saves and they never had a shot. Then they scored direct from a corner which never went above three feet high, went through three defenders and the legs of two attackers.
'We have to defend better. We go to Bacup on Saturday and will look to leapfrog them in the table. I still want a top-six finish.'