Elliott challenges Boston United to force their way into title contention - beginning with arrival of leaders Brackley Town

Pilgrims looking to close gap on Saints
Boston beat Brackley 2-1 in the FA Trophy earlier this season. Photo: Glenn AlcockBoston beat Brackley 2-1 in the FA Trophy earlier this season. Photo: Glenn Alcock
Boston beat Brackley 2-1 in the FA Trophy earlier this season. Photo: Glenn Alcock

Craig Elliott is optimistic a strong second half to the season can see Boston United fulfil their promotion dreams.

The Pilgrims will entertain National League North leaders Brackley Town tomorrow, eager to build on their recent good form and close the gap of the pacesetters.

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"I'm optimistic for the second half of the season from what I've been seeing," Elliott said.

"I think the past month I've been happy and we're not even halfway through the season.

"It's taken us a while to maybe find out what we are and what we're about.

"We've still got improvement to do, but I can see good signs we're a decent team."

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Boston sit sixth in the table, nine points behind the Saints.

A switch to a 3-5-2 formation has paid off in recent weeks and Elliott is hoping to reduce Brackley's advantage.

"I know there's talk we should be higher up the table and, maybe, we should be four or five points better off, but I think we're in a good position," he added.

"This is a tough league and it's a long season. I think we're in a really good position to kick on.

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"I'm seeing nice things in the team that we can build on and get better.

"That's key now, to keep improving and getting better. To get into February-April in shouting distance, I'll be confident."

United defender Matt Tootle recently stated he believes the side is yet to reach top gear and a good run of form could propel the Pilgrims into a title race, something Elliott agrees with.

While fellow promotion chasers will be taking points off one another as the season progresses, United must capitalise on this by improving on their league record against their closest rivals.

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Despite beating both Brackley and Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Trophy, the Pilgrims have taken just one point from five league matches against fellow top seven sides so far this term.

A 2-2 draw with Chorley and unfortunate 2-1 home defeat to Kidderminster have been played out at the Jakemans Community Stadium.

On the road United have been beaten at AFC Fylde (1-0), Gateshead (3-1) and Southport (4-1).

"It's a tough league, but we've played top sides and not been far away, we've not been in awe of anybody," Elliott said.

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"The top sides will play each other as well. Right now you'd hate to say who's going to go up - 11 or 12 teams can still get promoted this season."

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