Chester FC captain Ian Sharps says it’s crucial the club sticks together this season and is not ruling out a promotion challenge if that happens.
Sharps was confirmed this week as club captain, a role he occupied for Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Burton Albion.
He was involved in automatic promotion campaigns with each of those clubs and while he’s realistic about what Chester’s ambitions are for this season, Sharps has been around long enough to know momentum can be a big factor.
He said: "I think how far we can go will be up to us. If we dedicate ourselves like we have over the last five weeks and apply our game plan then we’ve got a good chance.
"I think you’ve got to be looking at the first six games to see how many points you can take from them. I said in pre-season that championship form is two points a game. I’ve always looked at them in blocks of six and after six games hopefully we’ve got at least 12 points and then we can take it from there.
"We’ve gelled well and we’ve gelled quickly. It’s only a small squad with 18 or 19 players and everyone will get their turn during the season I’m sure.
"It’s important that we stick together and that everyone else is backing the 11 that play. It’s important that the whole squad, the whole club are behind the 11 players that are playing.
"As we’ve seen in pre-season game, the lads coming on as subs make a massive difference and can change games.
"The lads that aren’t playing on Saturday will be disappointed but you’ve got make sure you’re ready when you come on."
Sharps sat out the final pre-season fixture with a slight hamstring strain but hopes to be fit enough to start when Braintree Town visit the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
Chester then travel to FC Halifax Town on Tuesday (7.45pm) and Sharps feels the opening two games offer up a good chance for the Blues to get off to a flying start.
"It’s two games against mid-table sides like us last season, and it will give us a good base of where we are and where they are," said Sharps.
"I know there’s a few ex-Chester lads at Halifax as well which will add some spice to the game, but we can only look at the first game to start with and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd who get supporting the lads and we can start on the front foot.
"It’s always important to win the next game. That’s what you go out to do: you go out to win the next game of football but it’s nice to be at home for the first game
"I think we’ve played some excellent football in pre-season. I know it’s not really about results but we’ve got the results to go with good performances. I think if you have enough good performances over the season, you will get good results.
"The way we’ve played football, the way we’ve passed it around and the way the lads have defended as a team with everyone putting a shift in bodes well for the future."