BUZZING Holbeach United boss John Chand admits he’s running out of superlatives for his squad at the moment.
The Tigers, who haven’t finished in the UCL Premier Division top ten since coming third in 2004/05, moved up to second with a stunning 10-1 drubbing of Northampton Spencer.
Chand and his team will toast their splendid start to the season with a night of the town in Leeds this weekend – but the boss is demanding three points at Irchester United on Saturday (3pm) first.
“The lads deserve a good night out, they’ve been so great to work with,” beamed Chand. “They have exceeded everybodies expectations so far, but we’ll not rest on our laurels.
“I’m always talking about the great team spirit, but the attitude is great too.
“The likes of Mitch Griffiths, Ben Brown and Adam Jackson have all found themselves out of the team at one stage of the season, but they’ve bounced back and produced their best form.
“Every player knows that if they play well, they’ll keep their place. It’s a hard policy to implement at this level, but the lads are buying into it.
“Look at Lewis Brooks. He’s one of the best players around, but I’m having to try and get him some minutes elsewhere because he can’t get into the team.”
In contrast, struggling Irchester have just appointed Craig Adams as their third manger this season and find themselves in the bottom five.
Deeping Rangers thrashed them 7-1 last weekend – but Chand has warned his charges of ‘new manager syndrome’ and won’t be taking them lightly.
He added: “I think Mick McCarthy said that players are like scolded cats when a new manager comes in.
“It’s not quite so relevant at our level, but players will still want to stake a claim and will put extra effort in.
“Obviously we fancy our chances and look at the game as one we could win, but we’re not taking anything for granted.”
Holbeach have a full squad at their disposal, although striker Tommy Treacher has decided to join Peterborough Premier Division side Moulton Harrox to get some game time.
The aforementioned Brooks may also feature for Bedford Town, as Chand bids to get him match fit ahead of a hectic Christmas period.
If the Tigers take three points on Saturday, they will go to Boxing Day’s top-of-the-table clash at King’s Lynn Town in second place.
Chand said: “A lot of teams were making big statements about winning the title in pre-season, but we always said top six was the aim.
“I stand by that, there’s a long way to go and we have some big games ahead.
“But if the lads can sit down and eat their Christmas dinner as the second-placed team in the league, they should be very happy with themselves.”