LOOKING back on the first month of his return to Blyth Spartans, assistant manager Tom Wade has seen improvements in all aspects of the club.
However, he feels the main one would be the team spirit amongst the players and a feeling of togetherness.
The former Gateshead and Harrogate Town manager was brought back to Croft Park to assist caretaker manager Paddy Atkinson as the pair took charge in the aftermath of a nightmare two weeks for Spartans that saw them exit two cup competitions and lose 3-1 at home to Chorley.
The caretaker roles for both would be made permanent by the club two weeks ago.
Having worked together previously at Northern League side Newcastle Benfield, Wade and Atkinson knew each other well and have set about the task of rebuilding the Spartans side.
And Wade feels that having a strong team spirit is key to being successful.
He said: “I think we are doing alright, we know we are work in progress and we are working hard to get it right here.
“It’s all about getting together as a team and as a squad.
“The recent improvement has been down to the team spirit and while there are young lads in there, they are battling and playing for each other.
“Whether it’s the players, coaches or supporters, we are all in this together.”
The defeat at Croft Park by Chorley was in fact the last time Spartans were beaten on their home patch in a run that has now lasted seven games, comprising of three wins and four draws.
Wade said the managerial duo had targeted an improvement in their side’s home form when they took over.
“The home form is a big thing for us and getting the support behind us from our supporters is key,” he said.
“We are doing well at Croft Park and the commitment from the lads is good. We are trying to make the side harder to beat and keeping our shape well.
“I’m big on having a side that can keep it’s shape well and I know Paddy is too so we are working hard on that in training.”
As Wade and Atkinson look to put together a squad to improve Spartans’ mid-table position in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, they are busy looking for players to compliment what they already have at their disposal.
The signings of striker Ryan McGorrigan and midfielder Jack Stanger were added to with the month long loan deal for Newcastle United winger Marcus Maddison.
And Wade is pleased with how the trio have settled into the club.
He said: “The lads have done well and settled very well.
“Marcus was put into a tough game on Saturday against a strong, physical and pacey side and did very well, we were really pleased with him, and although he has aspects of his game he needs to improve they will come in time.
“The enthusiasm and commitment they have shown in a tough league has been very promising but we are still on the look out.
“There are certain positions that we know we need to strengthen and we are trying to do that.”
Wade did, however, issue his side with a warning ahead of what looks like a tricky December.
Five of Spartans’ six fixtures in the month come against teams in the top half of the table, with only Boxing Day opponents Whitby Town in the bottom half.
However, with former Spartans strikers Craig Farrell and Graeme Armstrong on their books, even that is a potentially tricky fixture.
But rather than fearing a tough month, Wade sees it as ideal to see how far Spartans have come under his and Atkinson’s tenure.
He added: “We have a hard December no doubt about it, we have some really hard games and that’ll dictate where we can finish.
“We are looking at getting a few players in to help us and if we can get some decent results during the month then we will know more about where we are at and who knows what can happen from there.”