Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith believes his side have no-one to fear in their quest for promotion this season.
Smith made the bullish comment after watching his side emphatically demolish Alton 8-0 at Westfield Lane on Tuesday night in the Combined Counties Premier Division South.
And Smith believes promotion is down to his own side.
“We’ve got a thing in the changing room now saying it’s about us – it’s not about anyone else,” he said. “Last year we were looking at other people’s results – this year we’ve got to concentrate on us.
“We’ve never had a sit down and a talk with the chairman and never said this is our aim this season. We didn’t do it last year. I think we all thought, based on last year, that this year we should be able to push on.
“I said it to the boys before the game that I didn’t probably believe we’d get promoted last year, I thought Walton and Beckenham were the best sides in the league. Although we competed with them, I never looked at their results and thought they’d lose.
“I believe now we’re one of those teams. I believe if we turn up there’s not a team we will fear in this league. We’ve played Jersey and Raynes Park, and I would put us up there.
“It’s down to us now to maintain those standards.”
Smith was delighted with the lack of rust from his players against Alton. Mal Thomas scored a hat-trick, and there were doubles for Adam New and Dean Rule.
Substitute Danilo Cadete scored the eighth goal.
“You never know what you’re going to get after a long lay-off,” said Smith. “I was at the ground early and there were a few nerves, as it was almost like the first game of the season, which was a bit strange. I think the lads were well up for it after not playing for so long, which probably helped.
“I didn’t think we started particularly well to be honest, but then the first goal settled us down. To get an early goal is always good. I thought they couldn’t live with our forwards, to be honest – which most teams won’t if they’re on form.”
The Baggies led 5-0 at half time, and showed their ruthlessness with three more goals in the second half, but Smith was particularly pleased with the clean sheet.
“I wanted that,” he said. “We don’t want to be conceding – that’s what we’ve got to base our performances on.
“If we can keep clean sheets I know we’ll score. Even with the lads coming on as subs, I was telling them we wanted a clean sheet.
“It’s so easy to go against what you’re told to do when you’re winning comfortably – because you start trying stuff. Those sort of games are difficult to get yourself motivated again after half time.
“I said we needed to get the first goal, and then we got another couple, so it was very pleasing.
“It was also important to be able to get people on the pitch, because we’re going to need everyone.
“Although the players can’t always see it, we are going to need them. It was a good performance.”