IT’S how you finish, not how you start.
That was the view of Tony Choules after watching his Uxbridge side fail to pick up a win on the opening day of the season for a sixth successive year.
A last-minute equaliser at Barton Rovers cancelled out Kieran Knight’s penalty on Saturday to see the first-game hoodoo continue for the Reds.
Choules was disappointed to drop two points so late on, however past experience has taught him not to put too much emphasis on early-season form.
“We’re disappointed because we felt we’d done enough but I’ve said right from day one of pre-season that we’ve got a young squad and we all need to be patient with them,” Choules said. “A little bit of inexperience crept in and cost us.
“The boys aren’t going to learn unless they make mistakes. I’m not too unhappy. I think too many people make a too bigger deal out of having a great pre-season and winning your first game.
“In the last six years I’ve got to the play-offs twice with this team and haven’t won my first game of the season. People can read a lot into it but we’re not going to because we know it’s a long season.
“It’s where we finish at the end of April/May that counts and not what we did or didn’t do on the first day of the season.”
Uxbridge hosted Slough on Tuesday night and picked up a 1-1 draw. They are taking on newly-promoted Marlow on Saturday.
“We don’t know much about them but we’ll know a lot more about them before Saturday,” Choules added. “We’ll have them watched by our network of scouts, who will be at two or three games on Tuesday, so we’ll do our homework and get some points.”
The Reds will be without new arrival from North Greenford, Chris Drake, for two to three weeks after the midfielder picked up a groin injury.
Meanwhile, AFC Hayes, who enjoyed a 3-1 opening-day win over Aylesbury and Northwood recorded a superb 1-0 win over Slough on Saturday.