Oakham United may have started their season in impressive fashion, but manager Wayne Oldaker is refusing to get carried away too soon.
Before last night’s contest against Whittlesey Athletic, Oakham sat top of the United Counties League Division One and unbeaten in their eight opening matches - recording seven wins, one draw and netting 26 goals in the process.
It has been a fantastic start for United, but Oldaker insist the club needs to keep its feet on the ground and not get carried away too early, otherwise the dream could soon turn into a nightmare.
Channeling his inner Claudio Ranieri, Oldaker has set his side an initial target of bettering last year’s Division One points tally, and their 12th-place finish.
“We’ve got a good squad who work hard for one another, but if we give other teams the chance to punish us then they will,” he said.
“After last season we feel like we’ve got something to prove.
“Last season we got 47 points, so our first target is to improve on that and finish higher up the table.
“We’ve started well and we want to finish in the top six.
“We’ll try to do that first.”
A top six place isn’t just any old target plucked out the air by the Oakham management team.
Finishing in the division’s higher reaches could offer Oakham their chance to compete in next season’s FA Cup, albeit in the qualifying rounds first of all.
But with mouthwatering cash prizes and a sense of pride available for the team, were they to succeed, Oldaker believes it is an important target worth pursuing.
“It would be nice to get a top six place,” he added.
“That would be nice for everyone, especially for the club and its committee, who do a fantastic job.
“It would be special for everyone if we could be the first side from Rutland to play in the FA Cup.”
Although the FA Cup is the target, Oakham will be involved in a different knockout competition this Saturday.
Then they will travel to face Gedling Miners Welfare in the FA Vase’s first qualifying round (KO 3pm).
The Welfare have suffered a horrible start to their East Midland Counties League Premier Division campaign.
They sit second bottom of the division, having lost six matches in a row.
After beating Anstey Nomads in their season opener they have conceded 16 times in those six matches, scoring just three goals, all of those in the same fixture.