THACKLEY'S main objective at the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign was to avoid relegation and with two games remaining they can be rest assured that this will be the case.

The defeat at Barton Town last weekend blew their 50-point target out the window, but heading into today's fixture with Knaresborough Town, they've got the weight off their shoulders following the confirmation of their safety around two weeks ago.

On reflection, manager Patrick McGuire said: "We've got two games of the league season left and we want to win both of those.What's disappointing is that not getting the result at Barton means that we now can't hit the 50-point mark, whereas if we win the last two we can only reach 49 points, but obviously the target is going to be hitting the possible highest points tally.

"First and foremost our aim is to stay up with the budget we have. What has been pleasing for me is that not only we haven't been in the relegation zone, but we've not been put in that bracket of conversation by anybody.

"It shows that we are making improvements, progressing and people's views of us are changing into more of a positive one. We are certainly being viewed as a more competitive club.

"Obviously we wanted to avoid relegation, but we also set up a secondary target of getting a top half finish and if it weren't for the 2-1's, the 3-2's and 1-0's that went against us, then I do believe we would have been there or there abouts. We have competed extremely well this year and I'm proud of the boys. If we come away with that league cup title as well then it will be deemed as a very successful season."

McGuire's side host Knaresborough today, who themselves will be fighting for points in a bid to stay clear of relegation.

Looking ahead to the tie, Thackley's boss said: "I'm expecting a tough fixture on Saturday because they are still needing points and they have just come off the back of a victory last weekend..

"It's always a difficult fixture coming up against them and like us, I believe they are slightly unfortunate to be where they are in the table. I know their manager Rob Hunter well, so he's fully aware of how we like to play.

"I just don't want it to become a typical end of season game where both teams settle for a point and the game becomes a non-event. We are expecting a decent crowd in because it's Non-League Day, so we don't just want to win but we want to show our quality and culture.

"Hopefully we can put a display on for the spectators."