By Liam Chronnell
KARL Marginson is confident FC United can continue their meteoric rise next season in the UniBond Premier League.
The Rebels boss says next year holds no fears for the breakaway club after they completed a third successful promotion campaign in a row.
The Gigg Lane tenants, formed by disenchanted Manchester United fans unhappy at the takeover of the club by Malcolm Glazer in 2005, are now just three divisions below the Football League.
And Marginson sees no reason why FC, who admits the latest promotion was the best yet, cannot achieve more glory next term.
"We don't fear anyone," said Marginson, who gave up his fruit and veg round to take up the manager's position on full time this season.
"I've played at this level all my life and I know what the script is and what it holds. But we're just going to enjoy it now and look to kick on next year.
"We've got a decent nucleus of players. There will be players who want to come and play at the club and when they hear how much we're paying they won't want to come to the club.
"I've got my eye on a couple of players who will strengthen the squad, and we've got a fantastic reserve team behind us which is going to be disbanded next year, so I'll be looking at giving some of those players a chance."
Marginson, who also saw his side lift the the Presidents Cup this season, added: "It's definitely the best promotion yet. The last two seasons have run pretty smoothly but this season has been a right tussle; losing players, having games called off and the backlog of fixtures.
"Everything that could go against us did go against us, but for the lads to stay as mentally and physically strong as they have done is a fantastic credit to them.
"I've had to learn a lot very quickly this year with things going against us like they did, but it's all a learning a curve.
"I'm only 37-year-old so there will be plenty more seasons like this. But I never thought we wouldn't go up. Right until the end, I thought we would win it.
"I truly believe we are the best team in the league but with all the injuries it has not worked out like that.
FC sealed promotion with a 4-1 win against Skelmersdale United in Saturday's eventful play-off final at Gigg Lane. Referee Billy Khatib upset the Merseysiders by sending off two players and awarding the home side three penalties.
But Marginson, pictured, believes FC earned their good fortune this season.
"The sending off was the turning point," he said. "The letter of the law says it's a penalty and the lad sees red. Then we missed a penalty and got another one but, over the course of the season, decisions even themselves out.
"I've said that many times when we've had bad ones go against us, luckily it went for us on this occasion. But, 11 against 11, I'm sure we would still have been stronger than them.
"In the first half they were strong and direct, but in recent weeks we get better as the game goes on. I put it down to the crowd - the noise level goes up and we respond to it."
And the manager, who said the club had no plans to turn professional in the foreseeable future, hailed the role the supporters had played in the Rebels' success.
He added: "The fans are everything. The players will get all the plaudits, which they deserve, but the fans have been amazing. They've been away to Harrogate, Newcastle - they just kept turning up in numbers to support the red shirts and it's a credit to them."