I’ve not even looked at play-off situation or our points-to-game ratio - Di Paola

Jack Brivio celebrates his goal against Three Bridges. Picture by John Lines
Jack Brivio celebrates his goal against Three Bridges. Picture by John Lines

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola says he has not even looked into the play-off promotion situation and instead wants his players to keep enjoying their football.

The Hornets boss is definitely not keeping a tally of their points-to-game ratio, which will play a key part of who goes up this year.

Winning the play-offs will not guarantee promotion this season with two of the triumphant Bostik League sides facing the heartbreak of not being promoted.

A restructure of the non-league pyramid last summer means there are now 14 teams bidding to go up into 12 spots.

The champions of each division will take the first seven spots, while five of the seven play-off winners will be vying for the rest.

How that will work is that they will go to the five teams with the best points-per-game ratio.

Horsham currently sit third in the table on a ratio of 1.92, but Di Paola is keen that no-one gets ahead of themselves with 13 games left to play and even the possibility of making the play-offs.

He said: “I have not even looked at it. To be fair, I just want to keep our momentum and see where it takes us, I would not even know what we are on, points to game wise or any of that.

“I just think all we have to do is keep performing, keep getting results as much as possible and keep enjoying it. That is a key one as we are all really enjoying it at the moment - that is what you want, that is what football is all about and giving the supporters something to enjoy while we are here at Lancing.

“There are lots of really good things and what will be, will be. I’m not sure how all it works (play-offs) or sat and tried to work it out. I do not even think it is worth thinking about yet.

“There is a lot of football to go a lot to be played, maybe just under a quarter of the season.”

Horsham now make the long trip to 14th-placed Whitstable on Saturday.

One player that will be missing is Will Miles, who suffered a hamstring injury against Three Bridges last week.

Having had a raft of injury problems in the past two years, the central defender is having a troubled comeback.

Di Paola admits he could now be missing for a month and explained: “The trouble is he has been out for ages with the cruciate he had and now he is just picking up niggles.

“He said after the game that he may as well jack it in, but when you come back from injuries you do tend to break down once you have been out. Adam Hunt had it here and Lewis Hyde as well.

“You muscles aren’t used to it and he has played three games in eight days - maybe it is our fault? Maybe we have overdone him, but he has been ever so good and hopefully he’s not as bad as we think. If he is, then it’s a month.

“We have Lew (Hyde) to come back in - his suspension is done - and Dylan (Merchant) was excellent for us against Three Bridges when he came on - he always is.”

New signing former Crystal Palace midfielder Dan Hogan, who was on the bench against Bridges, could be in line for his debut, while Lewis Hyde is back from his three-match ban.