STALYBRIDGE Celtic’s manager Simon Haworth writes exclusively for the Correspondent and reflects on a superb start to their Evo Stik League, Premier season.
I am more than happy with our start which has been excellent as we collected eight points from our first four games to lie second in the table.
We are unbeaten and it is probably a better start than I envisaged. We have played to our potential, though there is still room for improvement.
We had a great draw on August 25 at Warrington Town, who only just missed out on promotion last season.
And you have to bear in mind it took up 14 games before we picked up our first away point last season.
We have had a couple of clean sheets and there have been lots of encouraging aspects of our play though, obviously, there are still things to work on.
I believe we have assembled a good, young squad that can only get better.
You have to bear in mind it is a new team and we are still gelling and working to find our best combinations.
We have the core of the squad we want, though there will be probably the odd change.
We will be even stronger when Luke Wall and Glenn Rule get their international clearance which meant they missed the first three games.
It has been unfortunate, a shambles if I am honest, and a disaster for the lads who would probably both have started the opening game against Mickleover Sports.
Once they are cleared to play, they will be playing catch up with the other lads who have been playing regularly.
Usually it takes between eight and 10 games before you find your level, but the opening games have given us a measure as they are teams of different standards – and we have taken points off all four teams.
We beat Marine, who have been in the bottom six or eight in recent years, and Workington Town, who are usually mid-table, drawn with Mickleover who are normally top half and pushing for the play offs and Warrington who are normally at the top end.
What the start to the season has told me is that it will be a physical league and it will be a grind to get results every week with games often Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday.
The club has had three or four negative seasons and it will take time to turn things round.
We are working hard to put a positive energy in place and, now we have picked up points, there is a general feel and consensus this is happening.
We are trying to build a team for the future and it is important we all stick together. Hopefully supporters will realise when we lose, as we will, it is not the end of the world and they will look at the bigger picture.