Magpies unconcerned by Darlo ground issue

Matt Jansen with Magpies skipper Andy Teague
Matt Jansen with Magpies skipper Andy Teague
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Chorley boss Matt Jansen is not paying too much attention to the off-the-field events surrounding National League North rivals Darlington 1883.

The Quakers, who currently sit in fourth spot in the table – one place above the Magpies but level on the same number of points – look certain to be barred from the play-offs should they finish inside the top five.

The league committee have stated that Darlo’s ground does not meet the criteria needed for the end-of-season knockout.

Their Blackwell Meadows home, which they moved to during the season, does not have 500 covered seats.

Darlington, who had until March 31 to comply with the criteria, have declared that they intend to appeal, but it would appear the club have little chance of overturning the ruling.

Should the league’s decision remain upheld, it will make Chorley’s bid to make the play-offs much easier as the team in sixth place would go forward to the four-club shoot-out should Darlo 
remain in a top five position when the normal season 
finishes.

Jansen, though, is keen to ensure that Chorley earn a play-off place outright, by staying ahead of the teams below them.

With two games of the season to go, they hold a two-point advantage over sixth-placed Salford City, while Stockport County are a 
further two points back.

Eighth-placed Brackley, who are six points behind Chorley – still have faint hopes of securing a play-off place although they are relying on an extreme set of result to swing in their favour.

“At the end of day, it’s in our hands,” said Jansen.

“We are in a brilliant position and we are playing well at the moment. We are in a 
really good run of form – three wins and a draw from our last four games.

“Hopefully if we can carry that form on, we will be in the play-offs.”

Although nerves are bound to play a part at this stage with a final position in the top five within touching distance, Jansen believes his men should not be burdened too much by the weight of 
expectation.

“I try to tell them that we are not expected to be in this position,” said Jansen.

“We have not got the budgets of teams like AFC Fylde, Salford City, Kidderminster.

“They are all full time where as we are not.

“Our remit at the start of the season was to be competitive. The pressure is on other teams, not us.”

Chorley will have to be at their very best tomorrow when they travel to Gloucester City, who are in the top half of the table.

Fylde, meanwhile, can clinch the title if they beat Boston United away this weekend.

In the National League, relegated Southport visit 
second-placed Tranmere.