MARCUS Bignot believes all of those extra hours in training are paying off for his Solihull Moors side as they steadied the National League ship with two goalless draws.
The honeymoon period had certainly ended for the leagues’ newcomers after tasting four consecutive defeats which saw Moors drop down towards the relegation zone.
But Bignot’s side has shown plenty of character over the past week and very credible draws away at league leaders Lincoln City and Gateshead have renewed their hope of surviving at the highest level of non-league football at the first time of asking.
“We knew that the four weeks starting with our trip to Eastleigh would always be difficult but despite some of the results the players were never disheartened,” said Bignot.
“We knew that we had to work even harder at training in all respects – physically, mentally and tactically.
“From my point of view the two draws at Lincoln and Gateshead are a testament to how the squad approached those training sessions.
“Both matches showed strong team performances from everyone collectively and it gives us something to take forward and build on.
“We were well worth both of the goalless draws. Lincoln in front of an enormous 4000 crowd, an electric atmosphere plus being down to ten men, was a battling performance.
“Then onto just over 500 people at the Gateshead International Stadium plus its running track around the pitch providing little atmosphere but the same dogged performance from the players.
“Again despite the loss of Andy Brown injured early on, they stuck to the job and fully deserved a share of the spoils.”
It is not only the players who are doing their bit on the field, but the fans are also playing their part and Bignot paid tribute to the travelling Moors supporters.
“There were some 25 of our fans behind the goal at Lincoln and about double that at the end of the stand at Gateshead.
“We needed the encouragement that they brought to the matches. We know that some took time off work and everybody had the high cost of travel but you were really appreciated and made a real difference to our performance.”
With just 11 games gone Moors sit two points above the relegation zone on 12 points ahead of this Saturday’s home clash against Boreham Wood.
Bignot has described every game at this level as a ‘major event’ and he wants his Moors side to relish the rest of the campaign.
He added: “This is a younger, less experienced squad following 11 departures from last season, but having to perform at a much higher standard.
“We are an over achieving part-time club competing in a full-time professional league and we must enjoy the experience.
“Our success this season is not just about what is happening on the pitch but equally important what is going on behind the scenes.
“If we are to be successful all aspects of the club must rise to the occasion. We have a three year strategic plan at Moors but that must also mean some new faces and more investment if we are to move forward.
“Boreham Wood is a club much like us and last season, their first in the National League, saw them struggle right up to the end, with relegation avoided on the very last game.
“They have clearly learnt volumes from that experience and now sit 11th in the league with a healthy 17 points.
“As always we will be looking for a win from the match which would put us roughly, points wise, where I hoped to be at this stage of the season.
“We have built a large core of wonderful fans – let’s create a carnival atmosphere and enjoy every moment of the journey.”