HUCKNALL Town boss Brett Marshall took heart from his side’s FA Trophy success over Newcastle Town last weekend — and challenged his players to take that momentum into the league.
The Yellows won 2-1 on Saturday and progressed to the second qualifying round, with several new players making an impact having signed during the week.
And Marshall felt his side deserved the victory.
He said: “I’m really happy with the win.
“I got the kind of reaction I was looking for following the things I had to say to the players last week and in terms of the atmosphere created by the new players coming in.
“It threw down the gauntlet a bit for those who have been here all along and made them realise they’re going to have to fight for their shirts.
“But more importantly it set a benchmark for the future and I know what we’re now capable of and that we can even do better.”
There were debuts on Saturday for midfielders Lee McAnulty and Aaron Large and Ilkeston loan striker Alex Ford, the latter scoring the first goal.
Marshall said: “The new lads came in and did very well.
“I made Lee McAnulty captain as he is experienced at this level and was fit and ready to hit the ground running.
“His attitude was right and also offered quality at set pieces, which when you’ve got four or five lads over 6ft 3in in the team you are glad of.
“Alex Ford is offers us height up top and I felt Aaron Large was busy and got in behind defenders before tiring a bit late on.”
Hucknall now face two big home games over the next week, with Chasetown and Stamford set to arrive at Watnall Road on Saturday and Wednesday respectively.
Both are in the top six of the Evo-Stik Division One South with Stamford having won all three of their away games so far, but Marshall says he holds no fear of either side.
“These are two very difficult games but I’m not fazed by the prospect and it’s important the players aren’t either,” he said.
“Confidence is key. If they believe they can win not only the team battle but also their individual duals, then that can go a long way.
“If you’re beaten before you go out on the park then you’ll lose the game. We’ve looked frightened at times this season but each win we pick up should help eliminate that.
“Anyone can beat anyone in this division and I think it’s now our turn to surprise a few. We’ve not deserved any more points than we’ve got so far this season but if we express ourselves and try and entertain then it will all come.
“I’m happy with the squad at the moment. They’re a good set of players that all need to gel together and support each other as it’s a long season.
“I’ve told them that if they’re still here in seven or eight months’ time then they’ll have all played a lot of football so they need to get behind each other and help the cause.”
The next round of the FA Trophy will see Hucknall travel to the West Midlands to play on the 3G surface against Romulus, who beat Hucknall 3-1 at Watnall Road only last week.
Marshall added: “I’m quite happy with the draw because we’re familiar with Romulus having played them recently and even though we lost, I can guarantee we won’t put in another performance as bad as that against them.
“We’re facing another side in our league and that gives us a good chance of further progress and with it some more money in the bank which is also very useful at the moment.”