Daisy Hill manager Craig Thomas is looking for his side to start showing more consistent form, after a mixed bag of results so far.
Good wins over AFC Blackpool and Holker were cancelled out by defeats against Whitchurch Alport and Prestwich Heys, and on Saturday Daisy were leading Sandbach United until the 81st minute, before conceding two late goals to lose 3-2.
While Daisy have shown they can match anyone in the league on their day, Craig is focussed on ensuring that his side learn from their adverse results.
“We just need to get a bit more consistency”, he said. “We had great games against Blackpool and Holker, played well in our last pre-season game against Radcliffe Borough, and then you have the disappointing side, when we lost to Prestwich Heys (in between the Blackpool and Holker games) and we just didn’t fire at all.
“We had a great performance against Blackpool and probably didn’t work as hard as we did the following Saturday against Prestwich.
“In the second half against Holker we were better organised and that is what we need to get better at as a team, and try to have a few more generals on there that could sort out issues on the field, but we are a bit hit and miss sometimes.
“We have just to got make sure we stick in games, keep in the game if you go a goal behind, to give yourselves a chance, and I think that is what we are slowly learning”.
One bonus from last season is that Daisy have managed to retain the bulk of squad that finished the season, which Craig believes should help them to improve on their league position last season.
“We didn’t retain the players we wanted last summer and had a bit of a poor run up to Christmas, but we finished the season quite well last year, and we have managed to retain all the players from that squad.
“We are now just trying to keep that squad of players together, and we have still got Daniel Gregory to come back, he has got an injury but is due back next week.
“We have a good nucleus of local players too, many of them come from only three or four miles away, and that is something that we are trying to do.
“We have also brought a couple in through my links with local colleges, so we can give young players an opportunity to come here.
“The good thing is that we have utilised all our squad over the games we have played so far. We had a couple of our younger squad members playing in the Blackpool game, and that was quite pleasing, they played well and they stepped up to the mark.
“We had a couple missing against Holker as well, including our captain Craig Naylor, but young lads stepped in and did a really good job, so we know we have got a depth to the squad, but I still say we are developing”.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Craig believes that his squad is equipped to be able to mount a challenge at the top of the table.
“Every year we have got to be looking at the play offs, but everything you get you have got to work hard for, no one is going to roll over, and the key thing is not to get ideas above our station.
“Normally over a season someone breaks out from the pack, but I think it is a case of anyone can beat anyone this season. I think the lads are starting to realise that now, the team at the bottom can beat the team at the top, and there are no given games in this league.
“Getting into that top six, even if it’s just slipping into that sixth spot, then that has to be what are looking for. If we are in and around there at Christmas, then obviously we can adjust our ideas and targets a bit”.