New Matlock boss Mark Hume detected an air of positivity around the Autoworld Arena in the midst of his first win as the Gladiators manager last weekend, but then added “We must not get carried away.”

The 3-0 victory over fellow strugglers Witton Albion was probably one of their most significant in recent years. Although they remain in the relegation places, a defeat would have left them cut adrift of Albion by ten points, but the gap is now four with Matlock having a game in hand.

“I was well pleased with what was basically not far off a full squad. The lads who came on did well, those who started were excellent with three or four of them standing out. Now we must build on that, we mustn’t get carried away, it’s just one game. We need to carry on that form and even improve on Saturday against a better side who’ll be stronger than Witton last weekend.”

Hume was glad he did not have to wait long for that first win, in his second game at the helm.

“There’s nothing worse than having to wait for that first win at a new club, at least that’s done with now and we can look to building on that. To score three and also keep a clean sheet was good, sometimes at 3-0 teams switch off and that didn’t happen. We knew beforehand we had to take the three points and we need to do so in the Marine and our other home games if we can, but there’s plenty of time left and anything can be done in this league. As many as eight teams could be affected by two or three bad results, but I’m not really bothered about anyone else, it’s what we do that counts.”

Hume brought in former Barnsley striker Bradley Kerr from Ossett Town in the build up to the Witton clash, Kerr beginning life with the Gladiators on the substitutes bench. The Town chief is hopeful of adding another forward in time for Saturday’s trip to mid table Stourbridge with another attacking player probably arriving next week.

“Brad’s a young lad and on a learning curve but I’m hoping he can find some form so we can use him effectively. I feel we now have a fair few options which will be increased with Adam Yates hopefully being available now.”

Winger Otis Khan has been called up by Pakistan for their international versus Afghanistan in Lahore on February 6. Khan, on loan at Matlock from Sheffield United, netted the crucial opening goal against Witton. His call up means he will miss at least one Matlock game, the visit from Marine on Saturday week.

“We’re really pleased for him, it’s a great opportunity for the lad but I’ve been working for things like this that can happen. It might have created me a problem but a good one if someone else comes in and plays well.”

Hume added that the positivity in the camp was mirrored by the fans on Saturday whose contribution was “massive”.

“The fans were great, there was a buzz about the place from minute one. Even when we hadn’t scored in the first twenty or thirty minutes they remained positive and kept on cheering, they didn’t get frustrated, they could see what we were trying to do and they helped massively. We all need to keep this going, we’re in it together.”

Ian Richardson

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