Player-coach Gareth Lewis is desperate to see his Huddersfield side lose their ‘Jekyl and Hyde’ tag in the second half of their National II North campaign.
Inconsistency has been their biggest failing following their promotion from National III North at the end of last season.
As a result, Lewis has admitted his club could start the New Year involved in a relegation dogfight, having slipped to fourth bottom with their 29-13 weekend defeat at Harrogate.
But the fact the Lockwood Park side boast arguably the youngest squad in the competition, with many experiencing life at this level for the first time, Lewis is still able to look back on the events of the last four months with a sense of some satisfaction.
“Overall, we have to be proud of the way the team has competed in our return to National II North,” said Lewis.
“We always knew it would be tough trying to adapt to this level when you consider the large number of new faces in the squad and the average age – and I think we’ve done a fairly decent job, although the fact we’re not safe from relegation at this stage has obviously taken some of the gloss off that.
“Unfortunately this is all of our own making, because of the inconsistency of our performances, so we’re very keen to address the Jekyl and Hyde tag we seem to have developed.
“Hopefully, we have learned the harsh lesson that anything less than 100% focus and concentration at this level will be punished.
“Our opening victory of the season against Stourbridge was obviously massive for us, but to push Ampthill right to the wire must rank right up there as one of our best performances in recent times.
“For all the positives, the defeats at Stockport and at home to Birmingham & Solihull were undoubtedly the low points of the season so far, but each time we bounced back with excellent performances.
“Without doubt this team will improve with time. We have a group of players who are willing to learn, both individually and collectively, and are proud to represent this fantastic club.”
And Lewis knows the return in the New Year of inspirational hooker Ben Morrell following major knee surgery could make all the difference in the world.
“Ben’s great for us. He’s our X-Factor player, the one who can create something out of nothing,” added Lewis.
“And to get him back will give everyone a tremendous boost.
“He’s been in light training for a number of weeks now and, for obvious reasons, we’ve been phasing him into training gradually.
“So we can’t wait for the New Year to unleash ‘the Beast’, who’ll seem like a new signing for us. Having said, like any player, he must earn the shirt as Ross Thornton and Henry Walker have both been excellent for us this season.
“But the more options we can have in 2015, the better.”