I’m a little surprised by the start to the season, it’s a bit strange. Pre-season went well with some good results and we were scoring goals, so there were positive signs. But the step up from the Northern League for some of our younger players is a big jump.
Stitching a side together virtually from scratch, is never going to be easy but we are bringing in more experienced players now when they become available. Last season we started poorly and improved, plus there are still eight months of the season to go.
At the moment, we’re getting no luck.
We played reasonably well for the first ten minutes against Southport and then new signing Jack Hunter was injured, quickly followed by Ryan Hutchinson who was just back from an injury.
It meant two of our most experienced players were off the pitch early on. Just when you think you’re making progress you get a kick up the back-side!
For 60 minutes or so, we played some good attacking football but lacked punch right up front and in the penalty area. We conceded a goal from a free header – we weren’t concentrating and didn’t attack the ball.
Their other goal was the penalty which, depending if you’re a Southport or Spartans fan, was either stitched on or dubious. It was good to see Michael Sweet back and putting himself about. Overall our build-up play was good but shots on goal were few and far between.
Going forward, we have to knuckle down and need to stick together as a team.
You can’t expect that to happen instantly. We started the season with a poor hand of cards as a result of what happened at the end of last season and it’s hard to rebuild things overnight.
Let’s hope for a good FA Cup result at the weekend, which might kick-start the season and keep the crowd with us. Crowds have held up very well and they’ve been good recently in getting behind the side. That helps a lot.
We remain confident in Lee and his management staff to turn things around. We can’t start chopping and changing things. Lee must be given time to gel the team and get the best from them. He has some great connections in football which can be very useful to us.
Budget wise, we are currently operating within and increased sponsorship from the likes of Texo has helped. In addition, Lee himself has been responsible for some new deals too. As I said earlier decent crowds are important too.