AS Worcester City prepare for the FA Trophy on Saturday, there is an opportunity to reflect on the first third of our league campaign.
With 14 games played, we find ourselves fourth in Blue Square Bet North and well placed to push on when we face Workington the following weekend.
We don’t put any targets on a league position or points tally but we know where we need to be based on last year.
It was important that we improved our goal difference by conceding less and scoring more and if you look at that this season we are way ahead of where we were. Fourth place reflects that improvement.
To be in the play-off positions at any stage of the season means you are doing something right but obviously the time it really matters is at the end of the campaign.
I think we have shown enough to be in the mix, we have been in contention in most games and not been soundly beaten by anyone.
It hasn’t necessarily been a case of being beaten by better sides either, sometimes we have contributed to our own downfall so there’s room for improvement in that respect.
Our league position also has to be put into context with the three teams above us — Brackley, Chester and Guiseley — who have all had superb starts.
At this stage there’s usually one team leading the way and another in pursuit but it’s very unusual to have three teams setting the pace.
That’s tough for the rest of the division but we are yet to play the latter two and we were unfortunate against Brackley.
That trio have still got to play each other so will drop points and have bad spells.
We have got to stay in there and look after ourselves. I have also been impressed by the way some of my players have stepped up to the plate this season.
It was a blow when Kevin O’Connor left us in the summer because he was the ultimate professional in everything he did. He was a very good player and often our stand-out performer.
But I haven’t heard his name mentioned by anyone this season and that’s not to his detriment, it’s the biggest compliment I can pay to the other players in midfield such as Rob Elvins, Tom Thorley and Matt Breeze.
Rob gives us a physical presence, he’s tidy and disciplined in what he does. That then gives Tom and Matt the freedom to go and play and that has shown in Tom’s return of five goals.
Rob provides the security in midfield and Tom’s confidence has been boosted as a result, something his free-kicks have demonstrated.
Another good thing about our players is they are honest in their appraisals of their own performances.
If we tell a player what we feel they can do better it’s not very often they disagree with us.