Whitby Town’s home meeting with Sutton Coldfield Town is a “winnable game”, according to manager Chris Hardy.
The Evo-Stik Premier Division clash, which kicks off at 3pm, will be the new boss’ first competitive fixture in charge of the Blues, and he is determined to get off to a winning start.
“Sutton Coldfield aren’t a million miles ahead of us in the league table, their own form is worse than ours and they haven’t won a game for a while,” he told The Whitby Gazette.
“This might not be a bad time to play them, it’s certainly a winnable game and the aim is to get ourselves a much-needed three points.
“Obviously I’m more concerned with what we do, rather than worrying about them too much. A new manager coming in can give a team a boost, we have home advantage and we’ve been training well, so I’m very positive going into this game.”
Hardy expects the Blues to be at near full strength for the visit of the Midlands side, who sit 17th in the league standings, 10 points ahead of the Seasiders, who are currently 21st.
Adam Gell serves a one-match suspension, while long-term injury victim Ibby Hassan is still some way off a return to action, but Callum Martin could be fit enough to take his place in the squad.
“I don’t think we’ll be too far away from full strength for Saturday, which is good news for me,” Hardy continued.
“I’ve inherited a good squad, there is a lot of talent at the club, it’s just a case of having a look at who can do what and trying to put my own stamp on things.”
The Blues’ last two scheduled fixtures at Skelmersdale and Salford City have both been postponed, meaning that the former Guisborough Town chief has had to wait some time to take charge of his first competitive game.
“I’m champing at the bit to be honest,” he added.
“It has been frustrating, and it’s getting to the point where the lads need competitive football and minutes under their belts.
“The one advantage of the games being off is that it has afforded us extra time to work on some things in training, which has proved quite beneficial.
“The players have been very receptive to the new things I have tried to introduce, and I do feel we’ve made some progress.”
Hardy was delighted to see some of the work the Blues players had been doing on the training pitch paying off during a 4-1 friendly victory over his old club Guisborough on Saturday.
“We played very well in patches, and there were a lot of positives to take from both the victory and the performance,” the Blues chief added.
“There was evidence of some of the things we’ve talked about and worked on in training starting to pay off already, which was very pleasing.
“We had some great spells, and outplayed a good team for large periods, but there was also the odd lapse in concentration, which is something we will have to address.”