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Armstrong is aiming high

A MID-TABLE position would be good enough for some Accrington Stanley fans - but not Gordon Armstrong.

GORDON Armstrong
GORDON Armstrong

A MID-TABLE position would be good enough for some Accrington Stanley fans - but not Gordon Armstrong.

The 36-year-old former Sunderland and Burnley man watched the Nationwide Conference play-offs last season and wants to be part of them - and that's if Accrington don't go straight up.

"I think we will go for it this season. You have got to aim to be the best in the League and there is no reason Accrington Stanley can't be that. There is no point going into it thinking any other way. We want to win every game and I think with the players we have here, we can do well. We are all confident."

And, if Stanley do make it into the Football League, the midfielder has no doubts that they can make an impact there.

"I watched the Conference play-offs last season when I knew I might be coming to Accrington and it is a tough and physical division - it is a hard league - but I think the clubs are of the same standard as the Third Division. Many teams who have come up into the Third Division have shot straight up there. It is a good standard."

Armstrong has been impressed with the way the lads have all got on at the Interlink Express Stadium.

"It has been smashing, I have really enjoyed my time here so far. There are no cliques, everyone is down to earth and it is a good set up. I couldn't ask for much more. I have been impressed with what I have seen - Rory (Prendergast) has had a great pre season, Lutel (James) is a threat with his pace and the lads at the back - the likes of Jonathan Smith, Robbie Williams and Peter Cavanagh - have done really well. I am still getting used to all the names at the moment!"

Stanley are one of the bookies favourites for relegation because they aren't full-time but Armstrong doesn't agree with that.

"I know we aren't full-time and so other teams might have the edge but I have been at clubs where, at times, team spirit has had to carry us through. It was like that when I was at Bury. I think it can here, if it has to. If we can get off to a good start, then the confidence will grow."

Armstrong has signed on a non-contract basis and just wants to play in as many games as possible - starting with the curtain raiser at Aldershot on Sunday.

"I have played there before with Sunderland so I know the ground. I would love to be playing every week, I was out of it at Burnley at times, so to be in the starting 11 and be playing regularly would be the ideal siutation for me.

"We have played league teams in the pre season friendlies and, apart from the first 10 minutes against Burnley where they threatened to run us ragged, we have done well and have given 110 per cent. We haven't been in awe of anybody."

The game against the Clarets obviously meant a lot to Armstrong.

"The Burnley game was nice for me and Paul Cook as we have built up a lot of respect over the years with the fans and it was a good game - apart from the rain but I was off by then! Now, though, the focus is Accrington Stanley and we will see what we can do."


Stuart Pike
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