Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is confident his side are showing all the hallmarks of a top-10 finish in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
The Dolly Blues picked up a first win in four games in some style on Saturday as they saw off Whitby Town 5-0 with a clinical display in North Yorkshire.
It leaves Brown’s men 12th in the table after promotion last season ahead of Barwell visiting Giant Axe on Saturday.
The table doesn’t tell the whole story, with City still having games in hand on the sides around them, but the Blues boss believes his side are firmly on the right track.
“We’ve got five games in hand on Mickleover who are a place below us and three on Witton Albion who are three above us,” said Brown.
“We’re not dismissive of the table, we’ve played 25 games now but it’s going to take a few more weeks for it to settle down.
“At the start of the season I went on record and said that I was targeting a top-10 finish and that that would be a relatively successful season.
“That hasn’t changed just over halfway through the season.
“We’ve always been in and around the top 10 and I’m quite confident looking at the stats.
“In terms of goals scored per game we’re eighth in the league.
“Goals against is similar, our home record puts us higher and in terms of points per game, which is probably the most important thing, we’re eighth or ninth I think.
“If we continue with that we’ve achieved our target.
“I know the stats aren’t the be all and end all and fans might look at other things but I’ve got to be happy with that.”
Saturday’s opposition Barwell are captained by Craig Stanley, a Wembley winner and a firm favourite during his time at Morecambe, and are currently 15th in the table.
“I’ve met up with Craig before and he’s a good guy,” said Brown.
“I look forward to welcoming him back to this area on Saturday.
“Barwell have been in this league for a few years and are quite steady.
“They’ve had some good away results recently and have got some good players.
“But on the flipside they are below us and we want to build on the Whitby result, back it up and add to our points tally.”
The convincing Whitby win saw the Dolly Blues bounce back from their 5-2 reverse at struggling Stalybridge Celtic.
Unable to attend due to illness, Brown was pleased with the reports he had back from assistant Dave McCann who ran the side in the manager’s absence.
“We’d spoken about individual errors and we needed the players to understand their jobs and maintain their focus,” the City boss said.
“We needed a reaction and wanted to put it right and we did that.
“We kept a clean sheet and when you talk about doing your jobs it not just about defenders it’s attackers too and we were clinical up front.”
Captain Ricky Mercer, groin, and Steve Williams, hamstring, are set to be sidelined for around three weeks.
Craig Carney is also still struggling with a foot problem while Ryan Winder could return against Barwell after missing the Whitby win due to illness.
Adam Sumner took part in training for the first time last week after a shoulder operation.