Graves keeps his feet on the ground

Andy Graves (left) and his assistant Phil Henry have overseen a great start to the season.
Andy Graves (left) and his assistant Phil Henry have overseen a great start to the season.

Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves says it’s important his players don’t get too carried away despite their perfect start to the CML South season.

The Yellows have now won all four of their matches so far without conceding a goal, and sit third in the league due to Selston and Pinxton having played, and won, more games.

But whilst the season couldn’t have gone any better so far, Graves is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

He said: “It’s been a great start and I’ve been pleased in particular that we’ve been getting clean sheets and making it hard for teams to create chances as if you can do that, you’re half way to winning.

“In a sense that’s carried on from last season, but at the other end, our conversion rate is getting much better and that was what often cost us last time because we weren’t scoring enough goals that could have made a big difference.”

Hucknall’s latest success came at home to Teversal Reserves, Town running out 4-0 winners.

Jordan Phillips opened the scoring on 35 minutes before Joe Ashurst made it two before half-time.

Ashley Whitt and Josh Henry then added second-half goals to secure the points.

Graves said: “Teversal were actually the best side we’ve played in a technical sense so far, yet we still won 4-0 which was pleasing.

“It’s still difficult to ascertain just how good we are at the moment as we perhaps haven’t been severely tested enough.

“That will change in the next month as we’re due to play both Selston and Pinxton away, who have started their seasons really well, and it’s important we take points off those sides because it’s looking like they’ll be the ones to beat.

“Playing them will also give me much more of an idea as to where we’re at.”

Next up for Hucknall is a trip to Southwell City, who conceded seven goals in losing at Eastwood last Saturday.

That will then be followed by a CMFL Challenge Cup encounter at home to Blidworth Welfare next Friday (16th) with a 7.45pm start.

Graves said: “Southwell will actually be something of a mental challenge for us because last season we went there when they were bottom of the league and lost 1-0 when we were pushing for the title, so psychologically it will be interesting to see how the players cope.

“We often struggle there for whatever reason but if we do what we’ve been doing well so far then we should get something from the game.

“I’m happy with the squad at the moment and still have a few returning from holidays and so on. Leon Aikman has been travelling and normally would walk back into the first teams of most clubs at this level, but such is the way we’re playing I’ll probably give him a couple of reserve games first to get him sharp.

“It’s how we respond when things don’t go our way that I’ll be interested in. Once injuries, postponements and so on kick in it can be a real test so we’ll have to be resolute.”