Spartans squad still developing – Wade

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Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade will go into Saturday’s home fixture with Nantwich Town celebrating his 150th game with the club.

After spending time as an assistant manager then caretaker boss, he was finally installed as manager following the departure of Paddy Atkinson in March.

Since then he has since overseen an impressive start to the current campaign that sees Spartans sitting in third place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

And Wade wants to see that run continue as the Dabbers travel to Croft Park this weekend.

“It’s funny because the lads are probably playing better away from home because there is slightly less pressure,” he said.

“At home there are expectations, and rightly so.

“The supporters have been great and they have been patient.

“The secret to our season is winning at home and the supporters are a big part of that.

“If we start winning consistently with the Green Army behind us then we really can get things going.”

Expectations have been heightened by a run of form which included impressive wins at Witton Albion and Saturday’s comeback success at fourth placed Barwell.

Wade paid tribute to his players saying he was delighted with how they have performed on and off the pitch, but admitted that they are ahead of schedule with their development as a team.

He said: “It’s still a suck it and see season for us, but the players are getting to the stage where they expect to win every game.

“They’re putting pressure on themselves, but we still need to be patient with them and realise they are still developing.

“We are still ahead of schedule here and we are still in the development stage with this side, but I am delighted with how the lads have conducted themselves and it’s all looking good.”

One high point of the season so far has been the fact that eight different players have got on the scoresheet during the opening two months of the campaign.

The last player to add their name to that list was Nathan Buddle as the defender scored a late winner at Barwell last Saturday.

Wade praised the former Hartlepool United man following his arrival at the club during the summer.

“For me he was man of the match at Barwell,” the boss said.

“He wants to play at centre back but we have put him in at right back to learn what the game is all about.

“We are trying to develop him as a footballer.

“He has been excellent since we signed him and he has earned the right to keep that shirt with how he has been playing, the goal was the icing on the cake for him and us.”