We get the thoughts of boss Ronnie Moore after the fixtures for the new League Two season were released on Wednesday morning.
Click here to see our 2015/16 Fixture List in full.
Like everyone else, I was up bright and early this morning trying to think of ways to kill time until 9am when the fixtures for the new season were released!
I felt like a kid at Christmas again to be honest – wondering if Santa has been yet and too scared to go downstairs and have a look! It’s one of those mornings and I am sure all the players are feeling the same.
As a manager, and having been out of the game, you forget that feeling but now it’s come around again there’s nothing like it and I honestly can’t wait for the new season to start now.
I’m certainly pleased that we’re at home for the first game of the season – it’s always nice to play in front of your own fans to start off with, especially when we’ll have quite a few new players on show. I’m sure it will be a fantastic atmosphere.
Jim Bentley has got a good squad there and they’re never easy to play against – as we saw with the games against them last season so we will have to be at our best from the first whistle of the season.
Then it catches the eye that we’re at York City so quickly which is obviously a bit of a derby game and one where we will probably take another 2,000 fans to support us. Hopefully we can come home with a better result than we did last year but it’s really pleasing that we have a local game like that so early on.
Christmas will be a busy period for us with lots of games coming over a short space of time and I think that’s where we’ll need a big and strong squad so hopefully we can have a productive time of it.
Looking at it, it doesn’t appear we have that much travelling to do apart from going to Newport County for the first game of 2016 – that’s going to mean a hotel somewhere on New Year’s Day night which I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to!
The Easter period sees us away at Leyton Orient on Easter Money which I guess could have been a little kinder to us but what can you do? Where we’re stationed in the north-east there are a lot of southern teams in the division.
It looks as though we’ll have around 15 to 18 games in the new season where we will need to stop over the night before – it’s quite a lot obviously and there’s going to be plenty of travelling for ourselves and you supporters during 2015/16.
I think that first week in March sums up the travelling aspect of the new season but I think the Football League computer could have been more friendly than spitting out a midweek trip to Bristol Rovers on 1st March followed by a weekend game at Barnet on the 5th!
I guess that would be okay if we were a mega-rich club that could stay down there after the Tuesday and travel on to Barnet but that won’t be the case for us so it will be long, hard week at a crucial time of the season as well. We will have to embrace that.
And then the run-in has some great games in it – I mean, it is mouth-watering if you take a look at it. That final home game against Portsmouth will be a massive fixture because I am guessing they will be up there going for promotion under Paul Cook.
Then we have to go all the way to Plymouth on the final day – will it be reggae reggae time again?! Haha! It’s a long way to go but I know our fans will be there come what may to cheer us on so we’ll look forward to it and, who knows, it could be a really important fixture.
Every manager dreams of being at the top end of the table in and around the play-offs and you realise that we can’t all be there but it’s all about hitting your targets and trying to get the Club where you feel it should be and achieving what it’s capable of.
I don’t want to put too much pressure on the players or myself but the play-offs has got to be our aim ahead of the season and if we work hard and stick together let’s hope we can achieve it.
Right, that’s all for me for now – I’m going to have a lie down after all that excitement!
Look out for another Blog from me later in the week when I will give you my thoughts on our latest new signings Jake Carroll and Trevor Carson.
Enjoy the rest of Fixture Release Day.
Never Say Die.