Title race still wide open, says Jansen

Matt Jansen

Matt Jansen

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Chorley boss Matt Jansen is not ruling anything out with just over a third of the National League North season to go.

On the face of it, the Magpies, who are currently third in the table on the same number of points as second-placed Kidderminster Harriers, look like they are embroiled in a battle for a play-off place.

Leaders AFC Fylde hold a whopping nine-point advantage, but the former Premier League striker believes the race for the title is not a foregone conclusion.

He has seen many sizeable leads dwindle in the past and is convinced Dave Challinor’s men can still be caught.

“I think the title is still very much up for grabs,” Jansen said.

“There are still a lot of games to be played.

“I always remember the 1996 season when Manchester United clawed back a 12-point deficit on Newcastle to win the Premier League title. You can never say never – we’ve just got to carry on winning our games and see what happens.”

The Magpies can reduce the deficit at the top this weekend as they host rock-bottom Altrincham at Victory Park, while Fylde are without a game.

In a further twist, several of the teams around them in the table face each other on Saturday.

Jansen, however, is taking nothing for granted against the Robins.

“They have some decent players, but for whatever reason, they have not gelled together this season,” Jansen said. “If we put a performance in, we should come out on top, but anybody can beat anybody on their day in this league.”

Jansen revealed he is close to signing a couple of new players from the division above and was hoping to tie those deals up ahead of kick-off this weekend. Apart from striker Jason Walker, Chorley will be at full strength .