STANWAY ROVERS boss Kem Izzet believes his in-form side are capable of a fifth-place finish this season.

The Thurlow Nunn League team continued their purple patch with a 2-0 victory against Haverhill Rovers at The Hawthorns on Friday night.

It hoisted them up to seventh in the premier division table, before being nudged down to eighth following Saturday’s matches.

And Izzet believes his team are among a pack of clubs capable of pinching fifth spot - a position he feels would be a “huge achievement”, given their poor form in the opening ten games of the season.

“There’s a long way to go but our target is to finish as high as possible, possibly in fifth place,” said the Colchester United legend.

“I feel the top four spots are a bit of a formality and it would be hard to dislodge Felixstowe, Coggeshall, Brantham and Stowmarket.

“But fifth spot is within our capabilities and, if we could finish there, it would be a huge achievement, given that it’s our first season together and my first as a manager.

“We always knew it was going to be difficult at the start of the season, because of everything that had happened with the turnover of players.

“We were asking the boys to do things they hadn’t done before and it was always going to require patience.

“However, they learned a lot during that period and the progress we’ve made since has been so pleasing.

“We want to keep it going, of course, and hopefully we can finish the season strongly.

“I’ve learned so much about the players and the league this season.

“We’re all gaining experience all the time and if we stick together and keep this group together, we’re only going to get better and stronger.”

Izzet says his side cannot afford to “take their foot off the gas” and he will be looking for another whole-hearted, committed display in tonight’s match at Saffron Walden Town.

“It’s very encouraging and pleasing at the moment,” he added.

“But we have to keep working hard because the moment we stop doing that, we run the risk of being turned over.

“We know – and we’re telling the players all the time – we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas.

“When we have let our work-rate drop, we’ve paid a heavy price for it and by that I’m thinking of the Long Melford and Stowmarket games.

“We didn’t turn up on either occasion and I’m constantly reiterating to the players the need to work hard and do the nasty parts of the game.

“We can’t afford to lose any battles, individually or collectively, and if a team’s going to beat us, they’ll have to outwork us.

“If we maintain that philosophy until the end of the season, you never know where it might take us.”

Bostik League neighbours Maldon and Tiptree and Heybridge Swifts are on their travels tonight, at Potters Bar Town and Ware respectively.

Both division north matches kick-off at 7.45pm.