Mark Morsley has insisted there will be ‘no pressure whatsoever’ on his AFC Sudbury players when they travel to Canvey Island on Saturday (3pm).
Canvey, like Sudbury, were relegated from the Bostik League Premier Division last term after a season of struggle.
But while AFC have been inconsistent upon their return to Step 4, leading to the sacking of Jamie Godbold and Morsley’s subsequent appointment, Canvey have got off to an impressive start.
They will welcome AFC to the Frost Financial Stadium as league leaders, having won eight of their opening 12 matches.
And with that in mind, Morsley will be instructing his 14th-placed side to play with some freedom.
“They are an experienced side and a very big football club — they have won the FA Trophy in the past,” he said.
“They probably should not have got relegated last season, but you end up where you deserve to be.
“Fair play to them though, it looks like they have kicked on this season and got some good players in.
“We can go there with no pressure whatsoever and no level of expectation.
“That means we can go over there and play our football — the pitch is decent over there at this time of year.
“We will do what we do and see where it ends up taking us.
“If we work hard, keep possession of the ball, who knows? We have got some good players.”
The recently-signed Jake Clowsley and Tyler French are both doubts for the trip to Essex, with both picking up injuries during the midweek 1-1 draw against Aveley.
Prior to that result, AFC ran out 2-1 winners at home against Romford on Saturday.
Sudbury took the lead inside two minutes through new signing Jamie Eaton-Collins, who looped the ball into the net.
The away side equalised in the second half after a period of domination, but AFC secured all three points thanks to another of their new additions.
Full-back Sam Mills crossed from the right and there to convert the chance was Clowsley.
Romford pushed hard for a second equalising goal during the minutes that remained, but Paul Walker in the Sudbury goal and his defence stood firm.
AFC GOLD: Week 24 winners — £100 Mrs M Turner AFC Sudbury, £10 Mrs V Campbell Gaol Lane Sudbury, £10 A Dalgleish Middleton Rd Sudbury