Tougher task facing Hucknall
DARREN Kelk says he was pleased to pick up his first point as Hucknall Town manager, after the 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Lincoln United on Saturday.
The result was a marked improvement from their 10-0 thrashing by Northwich Victoria three days earlier, but Kelk is quick to point out that he was forced to play virtually two different teams in each game.
Ahead of tomorrow's game, Kelk says that he is under no illusions that the visit of Newcastle Town will be a very different proposition.
He said: "Our display against Lincoln was much better, but anything would be an improvement from a 10-0 thumping.
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"At Northwich we had three who called off in the morning and we had none of the Mansfield Town loanees available because they had a game.
"But you have to be realistic when you are in this job, and working within the restraints of the football club.
"Everyone has their own difficulties and we know Newcastle will be a totally different game from Lincoln.
"They have just made three or four signings and brought in a striker from Macclesfield Town so it will be a much tougher task."
In recent weeks Hucknall have been heavily reliant on Stags' youth players who have been loaned to the club, but Kelk says that this reliance has now subsided as he has slowly been able to piece together his own playing squad.
"Three weeks ago we were dependant on them; a week ago we needed quite a few; but at this point we don't need them and there will be none in the squad on Saturday," he said. "I'm five weeks into the job, and it takes time for players to sometimes get their fitness up.
"I still want to strengthen to have some depth, but there has been progress and I want players who want to play for the club."