ROSS Speight is encouraged by Middlewich’s start to the season and believes an improved attitude from his players is behind an impressive run of results.

Town sit second in Cheshire League One ahead of a visit from West Didsbury & Chorlton’s reserves on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

They also progressed in the Cheshire FA Amateur Cup last weekend after knocking out four-time former winners West Kirby.

“We’ve never doubted the ability in this group,” said the co-manager.

“But the biggest difference so far has been their approach; from the early stages of pre-season we’ve had guys making themselves available and wanting to commit.

“You’ll hear lots of managers say as much, but at this level it’s no coincidence that results and performances follow when you’re able to select the same side consistently.

“We’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that, and during a tricky time of year when lads have work commitments in midweek or are away on holiday.”

The Witches also appear to have heeded their management team’s call for greater composure in front of goal.

A 6-1 win at home to Golborne in the league last time out was followed by that 2-1 success against the West Cheshire League side on Saturday.

Their reward is a date with Poulton Royal next month.

Speight said: “Our priority is always to be promoted, but I’m not somebody who believes a cup run distracts players.

“It makes them more confident, and we were happy to see that the lads have learned lessons from the past.

“We were knocked out by Poynton last year while trying to pinch a goal and taking an unnecessary risk, and we managed the game at West Kirby so much better.

“It feels as if we’re more solid, and we don’t have to score two or three times just to make sure we don’t get beat.

“Still, it’s early days and we’ve work to do yet.”