Selston manager Craig Weston has backed his side to compete in the East Midlands Counties Football League Premier Division.
The Parishioners made the step up in the summer after clinching back-to-back Central Midlands championships and have had an indifferent start to the 2017/18 campaign.
After two wins from two, Weston’s side have drawn one and lost two by the same 4-0 margin - the latest coming in a defeat to leaders Teversal on Bank Holiday Monday.
But the boss is happy with what he has seen from his chargers over the first few weeks of the season and believes there is nothing to fear from life at Step 6 of the non-League pyramid.
“It was always going to be a step up,” said Weston, talking to the Advertiser this week. “The teams in this league are in there for a reason. It’s a better league than the Central Midlands.
“They are stronger sides - probably better footballing sides in truth - and they do the right things and that’s what we’ve got to learn about.
“It was always going to be a tough ask. You can’t always win leagues, win promotions, win leagues; you’ve got to play better sides and you will lose.
“The main thing is that we improve. We take some games on the chin but we take it on board, learn from it and get better and stronger. That’s the main aim.”
Despite the second defeat in three, and another four goals conceded, Weston said it could have been a very different game if Selston had taken their chances.
“It could have been so different,” he said. “Games are all about taking your chances when they come. We had our chances early on in the game in the first half an hour and didn’t take them. “They hadn’t really had a chance by that stage but when they did get a chance they put it away. It was a disappointing 15 minutes. We made some mistakes and had a man sent off.
“It’s a big mountain to climb with 11 men trying to get into a game when you’re 3-0 down let alone 10. It looks like a real drubbing but we’ll take it on the chin and look to bounce back.
“We definitely played well for the first 35 minutes and should have got something out of the half.”
Weston had no complaints regarding the sending off of Perry Marriott, who was shown a straight red in an incident where he raised his arms, which saw Selston play the last third of the game with 10.
“We’re going to have to learn from naive little mistakes that are costing us at the moment. The same kind of error cost us at Birstall,” said Weston. “It’s a big learning curve. We’re going to have to learn and get better and we will.
“We’ve not seen anything in the league that we’re too worried about. There have been some silly errors and we’re having to pay for them.
“It’s all still quite rosy. Had we won against Teversal we could have gone joint-second, with that in mind it’s still been not too bad a start.”
After five away games, Selston will play their first home game of the season on Saturday against Holwell Sports, who have lost four of their opening six fixtures, winning one.
Weston added: “All the lads are looking forward to getting back home. We’ve always prided ourselves on home form and we’re quite a formidable side at home.
“We’ve got a few games out the way and we’ve played some really good opposition as the league shows.
“We don’t know too much on the other sides but from what we’ve seen so far everyone is beating everyone else, so we want to put a run together.”