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19 August 2021

Blues boss Phil Brown is well aware of the pressure to get the Vanarama National League campaign off to a good start this weekend.

A trip to King’s Lynn Town awaits on the opening day, and Brown believes now the competitive action begins there will be an added edge to what has been seen in pre-season.

"Whatever comes out of their changing room on Saturday and whatever comes out of our changing room will be nothing like the pre-season friendlies have been like," said the Blues boss.

"You just get that seriousness, that edge and nervousness to the games and all that tension is released on that first game.

"It’s great to be going to a place that I haven’t managed or played at, and I think from Meet the Blues Day there is a lot of expectancy from the supporters."

After a season where away fans weren’t allowed to watch their team on the road, Brown is relishing seeing a big travelling contingent of Blues fans this weekend that will be pushing the team on.

"There’s a lot of supporters going to be turning up and I’m fascinated by that.

"Over a thousand supporters to King’s Lynn, which is a fair old hike, I will be buoyed by that. I think the players will be buoyed by that but we’ve got to perform.

"You’re under pressure to perform and to win, and with that in mind hopefully the preparation will bear fruit and we’ll get off to a good start."

Nobody needs reminding of how last two campaigns have unfolded. However, as Brown prepares to once again get take to the dugout and manage Blues from day one of a new campaign, he said a mentality shift needs to be take place from the last few years.

"We’ve got to create a new vibe and a new environment which is what we’ve tried to do with the new signings, the players that have signed on loan, the ones that have re-signed and the ones that have come through the ranks.

"At the moment, yes it looks like we’ve moved away from the back-to-back relegations and turned a corner but you’ll not find that out until we start playing.

"When that first whistle goes, we’ve got to have a mentality that’s different to the last few seasons; totally different.

"It’s got to be on the front foot, positive, it’s got to be driven by fitness levels and the motivation to win things.

"That expectancy to lose, which has been around the club for too long, has to change.

"We’ve got a responsibility to change that, myself included."

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