Basford United manager Steve Chettle says the next three games are ‘massively important’ after their start to the season.
United drew to Scarborough Athletic on the opening weekend before losing 2-1 at Matlock Town in the week, and they now prepare for a trip to Atherton Collieries on Saturday hoping for their first win.
And whilst Chettle admits his side didn’t play well in Derbyshire on Tuesday, he says there’s plenty of time left and plenty of football to be played.
“It’s a long old season but the next three games are massively important,” he said.
“The players are very eager, and we all want to do well as we can because we need points on the board to get some stability and get a foothold in the league.
“We’ve not had that yet and we’ve not had any consistency, but we’ve only played two games.
“We’ve planned for Atherton and had them watched on Tuesday night against Nantwich Town and we all the information we need from that and have prepared at training in the week as well.
“We just need to go on a run of games now. If we can put two or three victories back-to-back, it looks okay but there’s a lot of football to be played in this league.
“I thought we were good against Scarborough at home in the opening fixture and we were poor as I mentioned after the game on Tuesday night against Matlock and we look forward to Atherton now and hope to kick on from there.
“There’s been isolated incidents that we’ve highlighted in the Matlock game, and admittedly we didn’t play well, but if you take out errors, we win the game 1-0 but football is what it is.
“You have to isolate the mistakes and cut them out and be good as you can be.
“It’s disappointing because they’re our senior players,” Chettle added.
“The two centre backs have both made an error and they knew that so it’s not a massive post-mortem and we’ve worked on that in training where I thought we’ve looked excellent.”
Collieries host on the back of an opening day win over Hyde United but two Sean Cooke strikes saw The Dabbers take all three points on Tuesday evening.
United continue to be without striker Kane Richards who will serve the final match of his three-match suspension, after he was sent off in December’s FA Trophy defeat at Peterborough Sports.
Matt Thornhill limped off in the opening fixture with a groin injury and missed the trip to Matlock.
Basford’s captain will be absent for game at Skuna Park but has aimed to return ahead of their game with Stafford Rangers next week.
Midfielders Callum Chettle and Ollie Clark remain long term absentees, but boss Chettle is encouraged by the return of some key players.
“We’ve got some players back out on the pitch at training,” he said. “Kane will be back from suspension after Saturday and Matty’s done some work at training so hopefully we’ll have him back soon.
“Getting people back and available for selection would help us massively and Matty’s a massive part of this football club. He’s our captain and our leader and he’s an inspiration out on the football pitch.
“Callum has another scan again on Friday so hopefully we can get conclusive results from that, so we’re getting more players back and we’ll have more bodies too choose from as well – soon, we should have a clean bill of health.
“We’ve only Ollie Clark out then who is long term, and we knew about that anyway and rehab is going really, really well and is ahead of his schedule, but we’ve got to remain careful with him.”
Following Saturday’s trip to Atherton, United welcome Stafford Rangers (Tuesday, August 24) and Witton Albion (Saturday, August 28) to Greenwich Avenue.
*Article provided by Marc Williams (Basford United Correspondent).
*Main image @Papapix Steve Chettle is still looking for his first league win this season.