IMPRESSIVE debut performances by Karl Brown and Danny Byrne have given Runcorn a new sense of optimism.
And although the Linnets look forward to Saturday's visit to Gains-borough Trinity with a team list which resembles the cast list of Casualty, boss Alvin McDonald believes that with a bit of luck in the injuries department, a play-off place would not be out of the question come next May.
Brown scored on his debut against Kettering last week and Byrne also impressed the veteran manager.
But long-term injuries worries are unlikely to improve until the Christmas and New Year programme and Mike Garrity's cracked ribs are likely to rule him out of a trip to Lincolnshire.
McDonald said: 'There is no doubt that the injuries are playing havoc with squad selection but I had people coming up to me after the Kettering game to say it was the best Runcorn have ever played at the Halton Stadium.
'It will be three to four weeks before I have a full squad to pick from but I knew that was the situation when I came to the club, I knew I was dealing with long-term injuries.
'Both of the new lads impressed me against Kettering and it was a dream come true for Karl Brown to score on his debut.
'Gainsborough, like Runcorn, are one of the legendary names in non-league football and I am looking forward to Saturday's game. I know Gainsborough well from my time at Vauxhall and know they have a good squad but I see us improving from game to game and we hope to come away with something.
'When the injury situation starts to improve we can hopefully put a good run together. It was so bad a fortnight ago that I don't think I would have had a team to pick from if the Alfreton game had ended in a draw and a replay was necessary.'