PHIL Simkin refuses to be fooled by Sutton United’s inauspicious start to 2012/13.
The Us are yet to taste victory this season but after watching tomorrow’s hosts (3pm) reach the play-off semi-finals last May, the Magpies’ manager is under no illusions.
Simkin, whose side currently sit sixth in Blue Square Bet South, said: “They haven’t won yet but that should not fool anyone as Sutton at their place is a hard, hard game.
“They give nothing away up there so we will have to work really hard and play really well to get anything.
“The work-rate of our players over the past two games has been incredible and it’s testament to their fitness and the work we have done with them.
“It’s hard to ask for that every week, twice a week but I will ask for it again and if we can reproduce that work-rate then we will have a chance of getting something tomorrow.
“However, we are under no illusions as we know it’s not going to be easy.”
Reflecting further on the Magpies’ best start to a season since 2006, Simkin added: “We have made a decent start, which is all you can ask for, but we have now got to try and build on it.
“We will just try and get a run going, get some consistency and hope we stay clear of injuries, as that is our biggest danger given the size of our squad.
“We do have some terrific players coming through from the reserves but we still have a small squad, which is why we are on the lookout for reinforcements.
“We have irons in the fire but nothing has come to fruition just yet.”
One deal that has already been secured is a one-month extension for Exeter City loanee Jamie Reid.
However, club-mate Jacob Wannell, an unused substitute in the last two outings, will return to St James’ Park after tomorrow’s trip to Surrey.
The county town chief said: “It will just be Jamie coming back for a month. Jacob will go back to Exeter as we have settled Neil Martin into left-back.
“Jacob goes back with our thanks and a glowing report.”
Winger Nick Crittenden is again unlikely to start at Gander Green Lane tomorrow as he continues to overcome a nagging ankle injury.
Simkin added: “Nick is still feeling the effects of his ankle injury and I don’t want to push him.
“I know he would play if I asked him to, as he is that sort of person, but I have no intention of pushing him. We want him 100 per cent fit.
“With Jamie Symes coming in and having his best game for us on Monday, it does ease the pressure.”
Magpies (from): Matthews, Jermyn, Bell, Martin, Wannell, Clough, Walker, Nicholls, Gleeson, Symes, Crittenden, Ward, Morgan, Malsom, Watson, Reid.