Barry Corr is adamant about one thing this season at St Neots Town – it is definitely a case of no more Mr Nice Guy.
The boss says the Southern League Division One Central side have perhaps been a soft touch for visiting sides thanks to their facilities.
And while he is not promising a drastic turnaround in fortunes, he is clear that they are looking up this year, not down.
“It’s such a nice club,” he said. “It’s a lovely stadium and we’ve got a nice pitch and I think opposition teams have probably enjoyed coming here for the last few years.
“They come and they get to play on the nice pitch and they tend to go away with three points.
“That will change, that will not be the case this season. We want to be competing at the top end of the division.
“I’m not saying we’re going to win the league as we are competing against teams that have huge budgets that we can’t match.
“But we absolutely will be a lot better than last season and we will be competing at the top end of the division.
“That’s where we all want to be and that’s the mentality we have to have.
“We don’t want teams to enjoy their day at St Neots.”
An example came in their 3-2 defeat at home to St Ives Town in their latest friendly on Saturday.
For 76 minutes there was only going to be one winner but sweeping changes and the introduction of some of the club’s youngsters saw the visitors, themselves pretty much a second string, snatch three goals in the last 10 minutes and the victory.
And Corr said there will be lessons to learn for the kids.
“We’d won our part of the game and put the younger boys out for a bit of experience,” he said.
“And they are disappointed in the changing rooms but not every experience is a good experience.
“It’s good to have bad experiences and so they can learn from this and see what it is like to compete against men.
“Before that we were a little bit sloppy in the first half and there were moments where we can be so much better.
“But we still scored some good goals from some good moves and in the second half up to the changes we were totally dominant and had them pinned back.
“If I’m being critical then we probably should have opened them up and with a little more quality on the final pass we would score quite a few more goals.
“It was positive though and it is pre-season. A lot of it is about getting minutes into the players and getting them used to each other and the system.”
New signing Leon Lobjoit got both goals for the hosts but Corr revealed the striker was still disappointed with his efforts.
He said: “It’s funny with Leon but he’s come in and he’s upset that he hasn’t scored more goals.
“That’s the type of boy he is and he’s a real quality player. He scored two in his first game as well and he’s going to be really big for the team this season.
“We’ve got the FA Cup extra-preliminary round this year so the first game is a little bit sooner than we anticipated.
“But we’re not in a bad place. It’s been a bit disjointed in that our connection with Cambridge means a lot of the players who will be here are with the first team at the moment.
“We’ve still got a few more in terms of recruitment but we’ll be good, we’ll be competitive.”