KARL Marginson has made it plain that there can be no let-up for his FC United champions, with cup final places still to be won and lost.
The Rebels clinched the North West Counties League title with a 7-1 win over Atherton LR on Wednesday, and play host to rivals Salford City at Gigg Lane tomorrow (3pm), one of only two teams to have beaten them in the league.
But Marginson wants his side's 22-match unbeaten run to continue until the end of the season, which ends in the League Challenge Cup final on May 3.
"We have a duty to the other teams in the league not to take our foot off the pedal now," said Marginson. "Not only that, we need to keep the momentum going all the way to the cup final because in football it's hard to get it going again once you have lifted your foot off that pedal."
Marginson also vowed to give his title winners a chance to impress in the UniBond League first division next season, and backed them to be fighting for a third consecutive championship: "The standard is not too dissimilar to the NWCL. Perhaps some teams are physically stronger but there is not a great deal of difference.
"Buxton, who won the Northern Counties League east last season, which is equivalent to our level, won the UniBond first division this season and Cammell Laird, who were champions before us, are second at the moment.
"We will be looking to emulate Buxton. I know the UniBond League, and with one or two additions to our squad, the majority of our players will be here next year. All of our players have shown they deserve a chance to represent the club at a higher level. I know they are good enough.
"Sometimes you watch players at other clubs and the grass seems greener, but you need evidence that these lads can play in front of big crowds and raise their game week in, week out.
"That is exactly what we have done this year by drawing three and losing two of our 39 league games so far."
Striker Rory Patterson completes his three-match ban tomorrow and will be available for the run-in.
FC have announced that they will again face AFC Wimbledon in a pre-season friendly, at Kingsmeadow on August 4.