WAKEFIELD FC manager Steve Nicholson believes a relatively low turnover of players in his squad will be the key to success this season.
The Bears sit 14th in Evo-Stik Division 1 North a quarter of the way through the season and the number of players moving in and out of Stade France since last season has been limited.
Highly-rated midfielder Marc Roberts made the switch to Worksop Town in the pre-season and Lawrence Hunter also left for Garforth Town, while goalkeeper Jan Zolna followed Roberts to Worksop recently.
Nicholson took charge of the Bears midway through last season and the changes to his squad since then have been minimal - especially compared to other clubs in the Evo-Stik Premier League.
He’s full of praise for the tight-knit group of players he has at his disposal - and believes there’s more to come this season.
“They’re a great bunch of lads,” he said.
“We kept the core of the squad from last season, saw a few go and added a couple and now we have 18 or 19 players battling for a starting shirt.
“Everyone knows the budget here isn’t anything near the top teams in the division but we’ve put a good squad together and we’ve seen some good performances so far this season.
“We’re 14th but it’s tight in the middle and we’ve played a lot of the teams expected to be around the top come the end of the season.
“We’ve still to play a lot of the teams below us and hopefully we can pick points up there and move up the table.”
Nicholson is aiming to build on last season’s mid-table finish and believes his men can even push for a play-off place.
They’ve certainly had luck on the injury front this season - Wakefield have a clean bill of health going into Saturday’s league match at Trafford (kick-off 3pm).
The Lancashire side are one of the teams in and around the Bears in the league table and victory at Shawe View would see Nicholson’s men leapfrog their hosts in the table.
A trip to Garforth Town, another team in mid-table, follows on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm).
“They’re both going to be tough games,” the Bears boss admitted.
“They’re good footballing teams who like to get the ball on the floor and play a good game, like ourselves.”
He added: “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be going into both games looking for the win.
“I don’t think you can go into games with a cautious attitude.”
The Bears will be looking to end a run of six games without a win.
Elsewhere, Ossett Town will look to progress in the FA Trophy when they visit Stocksbridge Park Steels in the first qualifying round tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Phil Sharpe’s men saw off Wakefield FC in the last round and will fancy their chances against a Steels side who, although being a division higher, have struggled so far this term and find themselves in the Evo-Stik Premier Division relegation spots.
Ossett Albion face a vital clash in Division 1 North when they visit Prescot Cables (kick-off 3pm).
The Warehouse Systems sit bottom of the table going into the match but Cables sit just six points above them having played two games more.
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.