Optimistic Radcliffe Borough boss Paul McGuire is confident his side can signal their league intentions by getting some early points on the board when the new season begins this weekend.
The Stainton Park outfit open their Evo-Stik Division One North campaign at Brighouse Town on Saturday before hosting Prescot Cables on Tuesday, and McGuire feels Boro’s tough pre-season fixtures has helped put them in good shape for the opening weekend.
“Our pre-season has gone well,” he said. “We’ve given ourselves a real test having played five tough games against Bury, Huddersfield Town Ramsbottom United, Mickleover Sports and Newcastle Town.
“On paper a lot of those teams will be classed as bigger and more resourceful than us, so I think we’ve come out of it well.
“Now it all starts seriously as we will be playing for points.
“We are a better team when there is something on the line.”
Opening day opponents Brighouse, who last season won the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, are an unknown quantity for the Boro boss.
“We don’t really know very much about them but I am expecting them to be lively,” he said.
“They will be excited and full of confidence as they won their league last season and got promoted. They will want to start well in a new division in front of their own fans.”
However, McGuire is confident his side can hit the ground running and grind out the necessary result which will spearhead their league campaign.
“I’m quietly optimistic that we will put some points on the board on Saturday.
“We just have to make sure we’ve got our strongest 11 out there, settle down and keep our shape.
“It’s not about the performances so much now, it’s about everyone pulling together and playing for points.
“It’s about grinding out results in these opening two games to get some early points in the bag.
“That’s how we played last season. We turned teams, we made life difficult for them and put them under real pressure.
“Sometimes it wasn’t pretty but we got results last year and hopefully we can kick off the serious campaign with that kind of mentality.
“If we can get a couple of wins under our belt it will set us up well for the season.”
Striker Chris Mason scored a consolation goal as Radcliffe Borough lost their final pre-season game 3-1 at Newcastle Town on Saturday.