Blyth Spartans manager Michael Nelson: 'We can’t and won’t get carried away'
Blyth Spartans manager Michael Nelson insisted the club will not get ahead of themselves as they look to move on from a “dismal” two years.
It has been an overwhelmingly positive summer at Croft Park as Nelson overhauled his squad with several former favourites returning to the club.
The likes of Nathan Buddle, Michael Liddle, Nicky Deverdics and Dan Maguire will all be back in green and white this season and new faces have also arrived after a hectic close season.
Former Gateshead defender Toby Lees, Annan Athletic goalkeeper Alex Mitchell and ex-Hull City midfielder Jordan Hickey will be amongst six fresh additions that will hope to make their bow in Saturday’s National League North opener against Alfreton Town.
There can be no doubt that Spartans head into the new campaign with a determination and enthusiasm that has been lacking as they slumped to the bottom of non-league’s second tier over two curtailed seasons.
Indeed, only the fa decision to declare the 2019/20 season as null and void and to curtail last season have saved Spartans from suffered only the second relegation in their history.
After a positive pre-season, Nelson is hopeful that his side can help the club move on from a difficult time – but warned everyone connected with the club to be wary of getting too carried away before a tough opening fixture.
He told The Leader: “Nobody at this club will be getting above their station or getting ahead of ourselves before the season has even begun.
“There’s no doubt it has been a dismal two years for the club, we don’t want to experience another and I am confident we won’t do that.
“We just want that good feeling back around the place and that starts on Saturday with what we hope will be a positive result and performance against a very strong Alfreton Town side.
“There is expectation, pre-season has gone well with some good performances and results, and even before those games, the signings that came in meant the expectation had already risen.
“I’ve been in the job for around 16 months, but it still feels like a fresh start.
“There is definitely a more positive outlook from everyone including the backroom staff and the chairman.
“But we can’t and won’t get carried away.”
Saturday’s meeting with Alfreton will see supporters return to Croft Park for a league fixture for the first time since a 3-0 defeat against Altrincham in February 2020.
The Green Arm have returned in numbers during pre-season – but will finally get to see their side in league action once again this weekend.
Nelson, who is yet to manage a league fixture in front of the Spartans faithful, is hoping to see a big crowd get behind his side as they look to kick off the season on a high.
“The supporters make a really big difference to the players,” he explained.
“They feed off the atmosphere, we all do as players and coaches.
“It’s been a tough time for everyone, we have played behind closed doors, supporters had to watch football on television.
“There’s a buzz around the squad with the supporters returning and we can’t wait to get out in front of them and give them something to shout about.”