Column: Weston boss Scott Bartlett in first post

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 August 2019

I've been back in post for two months and I think in that time we have covered an awful lot.

We have completely rebuilt a squad, which is not easy, but I think we have a squad our supporters can be proud of.

Pre-season is an interesting time, we certainly have signed some good players. We also missed out on one or two, changed our minds on some and lost a couple of big players in Cane and Pope.

Whilst we are constantly looking to improve I am delighted with the squad we have and I think we have used the money we have available to good effect.

Pre-season has been good, it's been productive and is great to be back. The games have provided us with a variety of challenges and we have learned a lot.

The toughest game of them all was the heavy beating we took from Newport, but we regrouped and played with energy and spirit 48 hours later at Clevedon and I was delighted with the application and the response. We look a resilient group which we will need to be.

Everyone was looking to the Taunton game as a marker of where we are. I'm of the opinion that although the opposition was our local rivals it's largely irrelevant and won't have a bearing on the season. As an isolated game, though, a competitive game that meant something, we produced good levels of performance with and without the ball on the night and were worthy winners.

It meant something to our supporters which is important. They would have left the Optima Stadium proud of their team. That was pleasing.

This league will throw us challenge after challenge and we need to be ready for that. We have some good experience in the squad and players that can be adaptable but so do others. The usual suspects will be strong.

For the first time, we will be regarded as one of the favourites, that's not something to shy away from, we need to embrace and enjoy that. Every game will be tough, but we will approach them in an aggressive way, to attack and find a way to win.

During the season we will make mistakes as players and staff, we won't have it all our own way that's for sure. We will need to stick together at times, be patient and stick to the plan.

Others have built good squads too and have more money than us but I am genuinely not interested in what other clubs are doing, what they are saying or what budgets they have.

I am happy with what we have and there will be no excuses, My job is to focus fully on our squad and We are very much looking forward to the start of the season.

We might have another body in by the end of the week but have some work to do still on that. We are in good shape and have just the one injury concern at the moment in Charlie Madden but we hope he will be back for the start. Now for the real stuff, Thanks for the support.

Scott and Lairdy

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