“We needed to give the fans something to look forward to and I think we’ll achieve that. We got to the first round of the FA Cup, which is something we hadn’t done for a while, and we’re in a cup final which gives us the chance of picking up some silverware,” said Watson.
“If we can get a couple of wins under our belt and finish in midtable I think that all in all it’ll end up being a really decent season.”
Given his record of success at National League North level, Watson knows many supporters were expecting great things last August. Seven months later, the Bridge have proved unable to escape lower midtable. Watson, however, says he never expected to finish in the top five and he quotes a lack of firepower and financial power as the reasons.
“I didn’t think we’d be challenging for promotion,” he commented. “There are some big clubs in the division like Solihull and Harrogate, and we don’t have the firepower to compete with them.
“Stalybridge Celtic isn’t just about what happens on the pitch. We have to generate more revenue, which the directors are trying very hard to do. We can’t spend money we haven’t got.
“As the club improves the team will improve. And if we can manage that, Bower Fold will be a happier place.”
Which would seem to explain why striker Bohan Dixon was sold to AFC Fylde. Watson declined to reveal the fee, only saying: “It was just too good an offer to turn down and we’ve always said we’d never stand in anyone’s way. It was very satisfying, too, because we made a profit on somebody we brought in over the summer for nothing.
“We might get a couple of young lads in ourselves but we’ll see how it goes. We’ve got an awful lot of games left but out of those 12 seven are at home which isn’t a bad position to be in.
“So far, whenever we’ve got into a midtable position we’ve let things slip. The 5-5 draw with Telford was a kick in the guts because we attacked very well. But on our day we look really good.”