It took the best part of six months for Edinburgh City to put 21 points on the board in Ladbrokes League Two last season.
James McDonough’s men, however, have already reached that tally and the new campaign isn’t even ten weeks old.
City welcome Berwick Rangers to Ainslie Park tomorrow aiming to make it 24 out of a possible 27 points from the first round of matches and extend their run of victories to nine in all competitions. The 1-0 defeat by Elgin City in August – the only blemish on their record – now seems like a lifetime ago.
This upturn in fortunes is new territory for midfielder Marc Laird, who joined the club six weeks into their maiden SPFL League Two campaign in September 2016.
However, the 32-year-old insists that challenging at the right end of the table was always very much part of the long-term plan.
“To be sitting here top of the league with 21 points already is a great feeling. If we can pick up another three points tomorrow to finish with 24 out of a possible 27 from the first quarter then that would be amazing,” Laird said.
“From having a chat with the chairman a couple of years ago, I could always see the potential was there for the club to really push on. I could see the ambition of the board and that matched my desire, too. There have been big changes on and off the field since I’ve been here but they’ve all been positive and really exciting. The club have been brilliant with me.
“The club have laid the foundations to make the setup as professional as possible for us and that comes from the people higher up, as well as the manager and his coaching staff.”
Laird is loving life in a black-and-white jersey and believes there is no reason why their rich vein of form can’t continue should he and his team-mates apply themselves in the right manner. However, the former Manchester City and Millwall player, who was born in the Capital, is only too aware that the rest of the league will be eager to bring them crashing back down to earth, starting with Berwick tomorrow.
“Teams will be looking at us and wanting to take a scalp because we’re top of the league. Last season we were approaching games in a different fashion as we were going into matches as underdogs,” Laird explained. “Albion Rovers got their first win over Stirling Albion last weekend and Stirling were in the play-offs last season so it would be foolish and really disrespectful just expecting to turn up and win each week.
“It’s still very early in the season but we’ve got our targets and it’s a nice position that we’re in. The manager is very driven and focused. We can’t let our standards slip as we’ve only played eight games in the league so there’s still a long way to go. We just need to keep approaching the games like we have done so far and make sure we look after ourselves.
“The manager has recruited really well and the players he has brought in have been of high-quality and that goes for the boys who haven’t been playing. They are pushing really hard and keeping us on our toes.
“You’ve got to have ambition. Every game you go into you want to win. We’ve got a really close dressing room and that always helps on the park. Hopefully we can attract more fans because in the long term that is going to be really important for the club moving forward.”