TERRY Spillane is setting his sights on more manager-of-the-month awards - to confirm that his team are still riding high at the top of Ryman One North.

The Maldon and Tiptree boss has scooped his third in as many months, taking the prize for December after previously winning in October and November.

It was his fourth success out of five, as he also won the April award during the end of his reign at previous club Redbridge.

“It’s always nice to win things and be recognised,” said Spillane, whose table-topping side head into Saturday’s match at Ilford 12 points clear of second-placed Grays Athletic.

“It’s good for confidence and getting three in a row is obviously special.

“But it’s not just about me.

“There are four or five people at the club who work hard, along with all the players.

“Now, collectively, we’re setting our sights on winning the next three awards because that will mean we’re still doing well.

“We want to protect the cushion between ourselves and the teams below.

“It means that if we do hit the wall at any point, we’ll have a bit of breathing space.

“It’s also important to keep pressure on the likes of Grays and Heybridge Swifts.”

Spillane, who was pipped to the August/September manager-of-the-month award by Potters Bar Town’s Adam Lee, will be without suspended pair John Glowacki and Billy Sendall for the trip to the Cricklefield Stadium.

Michael Toner returns to the fold, though.

Despite being up against the division’s bottom team, Spillane is taking nothing for granted and was impressed with Ilford when he saw them draw 2-2 at home to Waltham Forest on Wednesday.

“It certainly won’t be easy,” said Spillane.

“Teams always raise their game and have a spring in their step against us, because we’re top of the table and there to be shot at, so there’s no chance of us taking it lightly.”