Title talk is not yet on the agenda at Hucknall Town, even after their most spectacular win of their debut season in the East Midlands Counties League on Saturday.
Graves’s Yellows looked every inch title contenders for the second season running as they ripped apart Clipstone 7-1, scoring all their goals in the first hour, to stay second in the table.
But Graves is urging players and supporters to keep their feet on the ground, at least until after Christmas when they will have a more accurate assessment of where they stand.
He said: “I am trying to tell people not to focus on winning things this season. We had four seasons of that in the Central Midlands League (CML) when there was no other option because only one promotion place was up for grabs.
“This year, we are not chasing titles, we are just accumulating points and then seeing where that leaves us.
“Our first objective is to finish just above halfway, and then we will see where we are and what we need, including financially because money does play a part.”
Considering his side is much the same as the one that finally landed the CML title last term, Graves says he is delighted with his players so far. One of his few new signings, Joe Butler, bagged his first goal for the club at Clipstone, while Joe Ashurst netted his third hat-trick of the season.
The rout followed a disappointing 4-4 draw at Kimberley Miners Welfare in midweek when Town had to come from 1-0, 2-1, 3-1 and 4-2 behind and only mustered a point with a last-gasp leveller.
“It was a crazy game and we had a few words afterwards,” said Graves. “But our first-half performance at Clipstone was as good as it gets. Most teams would have struggled against us.”