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Jim Harvey's view...

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: August 13, 2008

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I MUST confess I wondered what the season had in store when I took a phone call at 10.30pm on Friday from our secretary Colin Peake, telling me about Chris Thomas.

I've known a few unusual injuries in my time, but never had a player slice his hand open and damage his jaw on the same night.

Hardly ideal preparation, but I was surprised how well Chris was looking at training on Monday. He felt fine within himself and I'm very relieved he didn't do serious damage.

I knew Saturday was going to be tough for us, as Kettering are still riding on the euphoria of getting promotion. I think we came through pretty well.

Our football can get better, but the fitness was very good and they were struggling to contain us in the last 20 minutes.

People like to highlight the fact that we conceded from a corner – and it was disappointing – but a high percentage of goals come from set-pieces, even at the highest level, and I'm afraid that's going to happen from time to time.

We had five new boys making their debuts and they all did okay. There's always room for improvement, and I would urge everybody to give them five or six games at least to settle in and understand how we play.

Alex Lawless had a super game at right-back, which is one of a number of positions he can play, and came up with an excellent goal.

I've said before that Alex is capable of scoring more, and he's going to be an important player again this season.

There were a few funny results at the weekend, but I'm not going to draw any conclusions yet as it's far too early. I'm amazed people want to know who's going to get promoted or struggle after one game – ask me again in November and I might have an idea.

A lot has also been made about the Conference's emphasis on respect for referees, and from our point of view it can only help us. We want to be competitive but play within the laws of the game and entertain people, so there won't be problems from me or the players.

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