MANAGER Mark McLean says one more win for his Halstead Town team will conclude an encouraging opening month of the season that they have had to negotiate in trying circumstances.

Halstead entertain Fire United on Saturday at the Milbank Stadium when they will be looking to close out an opening spell with a fifth straight Thurlow Nunn League division one south victory.

While cup competitions haven’t brought the long runs of success he was hoping for, McLean has been very pleased with his team’s start to their league campaign, especially with the lengthy injury list they are still having to contend with.

In Tuesday’s Essex Senior Cup first round tie against Hashtag United, the Humbugs were missing captain Jake Brown and goalkeeper Jack Cherry alongside influential first-team regulars Jamie Baker, Ricky Gardner, Connel Dunlop, Charlie Pleace and Joe Morris.

So to see his team still sat top of the division one south table is pleasing for McLean, but he said he would only consider it a successful first month if Saturday ended in another victory against a Fire United side sat bottom of the standings.

“It’s a must-win game for me,” said McLean.

“If we can come through this opening month, with the situation we have had, winning five league games and losing just one, then we can be very happy with ourselves.

“I know we have gone out of a couple of cups, but with the injury situation we have, I think that will be a great effort in the league.

“Some have had to be won scrappily, but then we’ve been great in some and you can’t expect any more.

“I’ll be very happy with that, but only if we win against Fire United.

“Looking at form, you’d expect us to do that and if we can then I’ll be a very happy man.”