BLUES boss Mark Fell believes the club now possesses one of the most talented squads in the NWC First Division.
Since taking charge at Victoria Park in early November, Fell has governed just three matches which has presented the former Whinney Hill boss ample opportunity to scout the opposition.
And after watching his new-look side take to the field for the first time in a 3-0 win over Holker Old Boys he now feels he has the knowledge to make a judgement call.
“A lot of sides are very similar in this division and I don’t think there’s a stand out team,” Fell declared.
“I watched most teams in this league now, I’ve done my homework.
“There’s some very good, hard-working teams but I’m confident we can compete with everyone.
“There’s some identical sides and we are much better now than our league position suggests.
“Looking at the individuals in our squad I don’t think there’ll be much better players in the First Division.
“It’s now my job to get them performing collectively as a group and we got off to a good start with the win against Holker.”
With home fixtures against Rochdale Town, Atherton Collieries and Abbey Hey falling by the wayside during his tenure due to the inclement winter weather, Fell has had to wait patiently to make his home managerial debut.
But good things come to those who wait as a Ashley Higgins (pictured) brace and a late Tom Anderton strike secured the points over Holker on Boxing Day.
“It was a brilliant performance and result,” beamed Fell.
“The weather was horrific and we were lucky that the game went ahead but that’s testament to the hard work of the ground staff who did a fantastic job with the pitch.
“There weren’t many games played on that day.
“We had a deluge about half-an-hour before the game which meant there was a lot of surface water on the pitch for the game which made conditions difficult.
“There was the worry that it would get abandoned.”
Fell added: “The lads were absolutely fantastic and we outplayed them in every department.
“We were by far the superior team and it could’ve been 10-0.
“They were magnificent and it was nice to get that win under our belts because it gives us something to build on.
“It was just a shame that our home game with Formby was off because I think a few more people would’ve come down.
“Fans will come when the results start showing and that’s down to us.”
While the club awaits a memo from the league regarding the re-scheduled dates for postponed fixtures, Fell is getting his side prepared for a tough trip to Alder Street to face Atherton Collieries tomorrow.
However, Fell feels that may be another fixture that falls victim to the weather.
He said: “The pitch at Atherton isn’t the best and the weather still isn’t great so we are unsure whether it will go ahead.
“They are a side who are up there in the league so we’re expecting a tough test.
“We’ll be looking to start the New Year where we left off in 2012.”
Fell added: “We are also expecting the league to provide us with the dates for our back log of fixtures soon as well.
“That will give us an indication of our schedule ahead and a chance to climb the table.
“If we get a little bit of a run together we could find ourselves in a healthy position at the back end of the season.
“We are optimistic and ambitious.”
Meanwhile, Fell is unsure whether he’ll be adding to the squad over January though Australian Nicky Orr could make a loan move should he be granted international clearance to join Accrington Stanley. “I’ve got a big squad of players,” said Fell. “We might need to move some out on loan or put a few in to the reserve setup so they can get games. I don’t think we’ll need to change much though that could all change should somebody exceptional come our way. We’ve got a great relationship with Accrington Stanley so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens on that front.”