MELKSHAM Town boss Kieran Baggs believes a potential back-to-back promotion for his side could be “a step too far, too soon” as they look to get back to winning ways in Southern League Division One South against struggling Mangotsfield United on Saturday, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

After reaching Christmas Day having only tasted defeat twice in the league, the new year has brought rather a different flavour for Baggs’ side – largely, disappointment.

The west Wiltshire outfit have only collected six points from a possible 27 and initial hopes of a surprise second successive promotion have been quickly dampened by Town’s weak form in 2019.

Baggs admitted the club may not be too disappointed with a downturn in results, though, as repeating the success that saw them climb out of the Toolstation League Premier Division last season was not planned for at the start of the season, while performances have been – on the whole – quite encouraging.

The Melksham boss believes the correct approach for his side to achieve long-term success will be to establish themselves in their current decision before attempting a mount for promotion next season.

He said: “This season has been about what we’re able to build on. I don’t think the club is too interested in back-to-back promotions – that’s not to say we will get it – but I think it might be a step too far, too soon.

“Everyone around the club is quite content with where we are and the squad that we’ve got, with the likes of Jon Davies, Matt Smith and Nuno Felix being added, as well as players like Dave Thompson, the Mike Perrett and Warren Maidment that were already here.

“The facilities at Melksham are unbelievable and it’s a lovely place to play football. Some of the boys have taken pay cuts to come and play for us because of the facilities, which is refreshing to see.”

With 13 games still to play, Melksham are eight points off the play-offs and teetering on the edge of the band of clubs that may be able to extend their seasons into May.

Town travel to relegation-threatened Mangotsfield on Saturday with the aim of cutting down that gap as much as possible, and Baggs says due to the tempered expectations from everyone at the club, the players can enjoy the final furlong of the season with no pressure to achieve any substantial results.

Baggs said: “I don’t write us off this season yet. We only have to go on a five or six-game run where we pick up points off teams around us and you never know.

“There’s no pressure on us, as a team, to deliver and there are a few teams in and around the play-offs that are desperate for promotion and we’re not one of them.

“As a football club, we can go out and enjoy the rest of the season – the boys can express themselves without any pressure.”