TADCASTER Albion manager Mick O'Connell is eyeing the Northern Counties Eastern League premier division play-offs in his first season in charge.

After a slow start to the season, Tadcaster now find themselves just nine points adrift of the play-offs after a recent upturn of form, with the Brewers having two games in hand on the play-off occupants.

O'Connell remains confident that his side can continue their good spell of form and push closer to the play-offs ahead of the festive fixtures, after settling in well since his Summer switch from Harrogate Railway.

“From what I’ve seen over the last month against some really decent teams, on our day we are a match for anyone in this league," O'Connell told the Press.

"I still think that Emley are the best team that we have played and anyone who finishes above them probably wins the league, apart from that it is a pretty tight league and everyone sort of beats everyone.

"It’s about holding a base of consistency now between now and Christmas.

"There’s some consistency in our performances, not just in the results but in the performances, because if we turn up and perform then we have enough quality to win games of football.

"We need to turn up week in and week out and put in good performances, because if we do that then I strongly believe that we will finish within the play-offs.

"If we win our games in hand then we are just outside the play-offs, that is our ultimate aim and we’re going to keep trying to get there.

“I think for the last four or five games we have actually performed really well.

"At Penistone we performed really, really well but probably just came out at the wrong end of the result, we then went to Maltby and won in what is a notoriously hard place to go.

"So I do think that our form hasn’t just been good over these last couple of games, but rather over the last months, things have been falling in place and you can even see patterns forming on the pitch with work ethic and relationships developing on the pitch.

"I think one or two recent additions into the squad have given us a platform to go and play off of, and Junayd (Cassius-Gill) has come in and recent boosted the squad.

"Over the last four or five games our performance levels have been really, really good."

O'Connell reflected on the job after arriving from Harrogate Railway, and how he's overseen the rebuild of the Brewers after last season's relegation.

“It was a huge job, I won’t lie, we needed a full rebuild," O'Connell admitted.

"On the pitch and off of the pitch we had a full new board and were full of new players, it was a whole new team.

"These things take time, it won’t happen overnight and over the last four or five weeks we seemed to have really turned a corner.

"Off the pitch we have a new board who have been getting to grips with things, it’s a long process and this year was always going to be about stabilising things."

O'Connell remains pleased with the transfer business he has done, including recent additions of Junayd Cassius-Gill and Joe Dixon.

Dixon joined the club last week after spells with Middlesbrough, Hull City, Harrogate Town and Gretna, and was introduced as a substitute in the 38th minute for the injured Kieran Greenway in Saturday's 3-2 derby day victory over Knaresborough Town.

“Junayd has been a key signing for us, he came to us on low confidence and hadn’t been playing much over the last 18 months," O'Connell enthused.

"I think that we’ve got Junayd at about 70 per cent now, over the next two or three weeks it will be crucial that we give him confidence and the ammunition to keep moving forward.

"A confident Junayd is a real handful at this level, and it is up to us to do that. If we can do that, then we’ve got one hell of a player on our hands.

“Joe comes with really good pedigree and has played at a really good level, he’s another one who hasn’t played much football over the last six months so it is about getting him first and foremost up to speed.

"If he learns this league then he has got all of the attributes to be a proper number nine, he’s quick, he’s strong, he’s powerful and has got a real eye for goal.

"Once we get his confidence up and we get him back up to speed, I think he will be a huge asset for us from now until the end of the season."