Lancaster City boss Mark Fell is content after his first five games in charge
It has not escaped Mark Fell's attention that his Lancaster City team have displayed promotion form since he took charge of the club.
The general consensus in football is if you can average around two points per game over the course of a season then you will be celebrating after the final game.
Fell took charge of the Dolly Blues with the team rock bottom of the NPL Premier Division after picking up just five points from their opening 11 games.
However, over the past five games, the Dolly Blues have tripled their points tally – collecting three wins, a draw and a defeat.
The excellent run has propelled them up the table to the relative safety of 17th position, albeit they are still only two points above the relegation zone having played several games more than many of the teams below them.
While Fell is not getting too carried away – especially with last Saturday’s 6-0 defeat to league leaders Scarborough fresh in his memory – the City boss has been quietly pleased with what he has seen so far from the players that he has inherited. A draw in his first game at home to Basford United was followed by away victories at Grantham and Hednesford.
Saturday’s result was certainly a blot on the copybook, although City responded in fine fashion to beat Stalybridge Celtic 1-0 at Giant Axe in midweek.
“We took over with the team rock bottom and with five points,” said Fell.
“We are now 17th with 15 points.
“If you look at the five league games we have been in charge of, it’s an average of two points per game.
“If you do that over the course of a season, that gets you promoted.
“Don’t get me wrong, we are certainly not getting ahead of ourselves here – we know we’ve still got an awful lot of work to do.
“But in terms of a start, in terms of what we have asked the players to – we could not have asked for anything more.
“Three wins, one draw and one defeat from our first five games – if somebody had said we were going to do that, I would have snapped their hands off.”
One of the biggest factors as far as Fell is concerned is that he has done it with the squad. Although he is actively looking to strengthen, Fell admits the players currently at the club means he is not urgently looking to make signings.
“We wanted to give these players an opportunity and they have delivered,” Fell said. “As far as I am concerned Saturday was just ‘one of them’.
“We were great for half-an-hour against the best side in the league.
“Then we conceded three or four goals in a crazy 20-minute spell, had a man sent off and they ran two in at the end.
“The key to the win over Stalybridge was we scored when we were on top.
“It was a game which could have gone either way, but we showed great character after Saturday and got the result.”
This weekend, City are in FA Trophy action when they travel to Marine, who bizarrely they also play away again on Tuesday in the NPL League Cup.
Fell is expected to give a run-out to a number of fringe players in the second of those two games, but will be playing a full-strength team on Saturday.
“The Trophy is the important one for us because of the finance on offer for the club,” he said
Glen Steel and Paul Jarvis are still out injured.