HOLBEACH United’s flawless UCL Premier Division record faces its sternest test this weekend – according to boss John Chand.
The Tigers visit Quorn on Saturday with five league wins out of five under their belt, making them the only side in the division with a 100 per cent record.
They’re only two points clear of their Leicestershire-based hosts though, after Tommy Brookbanks’ side knocked off Deeping Rangers 4-2 on Saturday to preserve their own unbeaten run.
Chand struck up a good friendship with the Quorn boss after crossing paths with him in last year’s FA Cup (when Brookbanks was in charge of Hucknall) and rates him as one of the nicest people in football.
But he’s expecting no favours on Saturday, against a side he’s tipping for the title.
“I think anybody that finishes above Quorn this season will be champions,” predicted Chand. “Everybody keeps talking about it being between St Ives and Spalding, but I’m not so sure.
“I’m expecting a tough, tough game. They’re a decent passing side and have a lovely pitch, which is something we’ll enjoy playing on.
“Tommy is a top guy and I have a massive amount of respect for him. I’m confident in my team though, we’re more than capable of going there and getting a result if we can produce the kind of performance we delivered at Deeping.
“If we still have a 100 per cent record this time next week (Holbeach also visit Peterborough Northern Star on Tuesday), we’ll be in a very strong position.”
Chand rang the changes in Wednesday night’s 4-2 UCL Knockout Cup win over Deeping Rangers at Carter’s Park – and now has a selection headache with a number of players pushing for starts.
He admits that was done with Quorn in mind, with a tilt at the league title the club’s chief aim this season.
Barring injured keeper Lee Overton, the Tigers will make the trip to Sutton Park at full strength, with leading scorer Sam Mulready fit to return.
But fellow striker Jermain Palmer won’t feature for Holbeach again after making a switch to higher-graded Mickleover Sports.
Chand couldn’t promise the frontman a regular place in his side and he departs with the club’s full blessing.
Meanwhile, right back Liam Bull is back on Holbeach’s radar having fallen out of favour with rivals Spalding United.
Bull spent a slice of pre-season with the Tigers and was sent off in his one apperance against Wisbech Town.
Chand admits he’s spoken with Tulips boss Pat Rayment, who confirmed he was free to talk to the defender – but told the Spalding Guardian that a transfer “wasn’t close.”