RAMSBOTTOM United boss Chris Willcock is hoping short-term aims will help achieve the long-term goal of getting in to the end-of-season play-offs.

The Rams boss has broken the season down in to five-game batches and is refusing to look too far ahead.

And on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run - that has seen his side climb to third place in the BetVictor League North West Division - it is an approach that seems to be working.

The Rams sealed a 10th win of the season with a thumping 7-1 win over Mossley on Boxing Day and while Willcock was clearly pleased, it was just another game chalked off.

“We look at five game scenarios,” he said. “I said to them when we got to six games unbeaten, can we get to 10. That is a short-term goal for us. We have now got to eight so that is extremely pleasing but we are not at 10 yet so we have to keep on raising the bar, asking more of them.

“They need to ask more of themselves out on the pitch, individually, collectively.”

While Willcock was pleased with the 7-1 Mossley victory he warned against complacency creeping in ahead of the New Year’s Day trip to Trafford - something he says was evident in the 2-2 draw at Widnes in the previous game

“I thought we were outstanding,” he said. “The lads prepared for the game exceptionally well, they came in in the right frame of mind. I thought we were outstanding going forward as we have been in the last four or five games.

“So I am extremely pleased. The fact that we scored seven is by the by. We have got three points after an average performance at Widnes.

“We took our foot off the gas, complacency crept in and we never got going in the game but as it has been over the last seven or eight games we’re finding a way of not getting beat which is pleasing.”

Willcock, who has been in the post for just over a year, achieved his target of reaching the play-offs last season and he wants to repeat the feat this term.

“We have got 22 games left so there is still a long way to go,” he told the club’s official website. “But we find ourselves in the mix and that is where we want to be.

“My ambition when I came to the club last season was to try and get us promoted. We didn’t manage to do so. We put together a fantastic run together to get ourselves in a position to get in to the play-offs and did exceptionally well.

“But we didn’t manage to go up. We had a good start (to this season) then had a really poor October and we have really picked up on the back of that and put ourselves in a strong position.”

But Willcock is far too experienced to get carried away although he does admit the play-offs are now a realistic aim.

He said: “Because the league is so tight and the quality is decent there are a lot of results from top to bottom where teams are dropping points.

“We have been able to have a run of four, five, six wins on the back of the run that we are on and we have found ourselves climbing the table extremely quickly.

“But we are not looking too far ahead, it’s just five games at the moment but we have a good chance.

“We don’t want to get carried away. But when I set out in pre-season I wanted to make the play-offs and the players are aware of that.

“We talked about it throughout pre-season. Play-offs was a realistic aim for us and, at the moment, that is a realistic aim for where we sit in the table.”