Gateshead manager Anth Smith couldn’t have asked for a more difficult start to his season.
Not that he is ever asked what his preferred first few fixtures should be.
Saturday saw his men lose to Kidderminster Harriers, tonight it’s Grimsby Town; that’s two of the strongest teams in the Skrill Premier League.
And this weekend Barnet, who dropped down from the Football League at the end of last season, are the visitors.
“I will know a lot more about the team and where we are after Saturday’s game,” said Smith. “We have three of the best teams in our first three games, so it might be hard to judge exactly.
“I’m not going to read too much into this first week because we have six new guys in our squad and it’s not going to happen for you right away.”
It didn’t happen for Gateshead on the opening day as they lost 3-1 to Kidderminster.
However, the Gateshead boss retains a spring in his step. He said: “We played at about 70% and created a lot of good chances.
“I felt okay about the performance as we played some good stuff at times. I wasn’t too downbeat.
“Now we need to take it into the Grimsby game, which will be difficult. They were annoyed not to win promotion last time.
“They will want to finish top three at least this season. They are a big club with some good players.”
The players have worked on their finishing in training. Smith said: “We just need to find some consistency in front of goal.”