Alan Dowson is adamant his Hampton & Richmond Borough side are among the favourites to win the Ryman Premier Division after a stellar season so far.
The Beavers travel to Leatherhead tonight in the hope of extending their two-point lead over Dulwich Hamlet and East Thurrock United at the top of the table.
After surviving a relegation battle last year many expected Hampton to fall away from the title chase, but Dowson insists they are major players.
“I think we are 10 places above where we thought we would be,” he said.
“We have higher expectations now than at the start of the season.
“Now we must be one of the favourites. We are definitely punching above our weight.”
With odds of 33/1 to win the league in August, Hampton have shocked everyone this year.
However, Dowson believes it is too soon to start thinking about a possible promotion.
He said: “With 15 games to go you just want to win games. Obviously you want to win in the right way, but at this stage you just want to win.
“It’s too early to look ahead to the finish. We haven’t talked about it. We haven’t mentioned it.
“We would like to do as best we can and to get to the playoffs, of course we would.”
Saturday’s 4-3 win over Leiston extended their run to 10 wins from 12 games, but Dowson expects a tough match at 15th-placed Leatherhead, who have heavily lost their last two.
“They’re a good side and have had a couple of dodgy results, so they will be looking to get that right,” he said.
“As we are top, beating us would be a good scalp for them so it will be a very hard game.”
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