Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan says he is pleased by the character shown by his side in their two Conference South fixtures over the bank holiday weekend.
The Tudors recorded an impressive 2-0 win over Maidenhead on Saturday, before losing 2-1 at home to Concord Rangers two days later.
“It was a good weekend for us in terms of our performance levels in both games,” said Brennan. “Ideally we would have like to have picked up six points, but all in all I was very happy with the character and bravery we showed within our play.”
The Tudors have won both of their away fixtures in the league so far this campaign, but have been beaten three times at Vauxhall Road.
Brennan, though, is adamant that there is no underlying reason for this and says he is not worried by the trend.
“I don’t look at it as home or away games – nor do I look at form guides or league tables, especially not this early on,” he said. “Come back to me at Easter and I will have a different take. We set targets and, come April, let’s see if we can achieve them.
“We go into every game with a positive attitude and try our best to make sure we win that game.
“Funnily enough, on Monday at home to Concord Rangers, we created more clear cut chances than we did on the Saturday at Maidenhead and lost 2-1.
“Concord scored two goals from outside the box and, when I watched the DVD back, we had nine clear goalscoring opportunities inside their penalty box.
“Away to Maidenhead on Saturday we created seven clear goalscoring opportunities, and we needed our goalkeeper to make four top saves to keep us in the game, yet ended up winning 2-0.
“To be fair to the players they have shown good character which I requested from them last week, and to be totally honest our two performances over the weekend deserved more than the three points we picked up.”
Despite this, Brennan says that the difference in quality at Conference South level is much higher than that of the Southern Premier Division – which the Tudors won so impressively last season.
“It’s definitely a season of learning and education for us, from board room level to on the football pitch and even on the terraces,” said the Tudors boss.
“On the pitch it’s simple, we are just playing against better players every week. More intelligent, better conditioned players, with also the fact that all teams are more organised.
“I have noticed that before opposition teams play us, they will have us scouted at least three times.
“The finances in this league are substantially larger, the pitches are much better and the fact that you have a couple of full-time teams also just shows you how professional the Conference South is.
“It’s where we want to be, and I’m loving every minute of the challenge so far.”
The Tudors now have a two-week gap before their next fixture, but Brennan says his approach will remain the same.
“Nothing will change; we know what it takes to win football matches at this level,” he said. “We will continue to work hard on the training ground over the next two weeks, and hopefully we will have some keys players back from injury for our next game.
“The two-week break is good for us at this moment in time. It gives me the opportunity to get players back fit and to get more work done on the training ground to make sure we keep improving.
“Over the last two games we created numerous chances which is very encouraging for our style of play. We must keep believing in our philosophy and working hard.”