Lewes manager Tony Russell admits they are going to have fight hard in the first half of the season as the players get use to the new style of play.

Russell only joined the Rooks in April from Cray Wanders and is still trying to put his own stamp on the side.

However, despite having had a good pre-season the Rooks lost their opening game of the PitchingIn Isthmian Premier season last weekend, being beaten 3-1 by Cray.

Russell admitted their performance was simply not good enough and insisted he will not accept a performance like that from his side again.

There has been some fallout from that defeat with two players leaving the club and two new recruits from National League sides coming in to replace them.

Despite the loss there have been some positives with Russell organising an extra optional training session this week, which every player turned up for.

However, as they prepare to host Cheshunt in their first league game of the season at the Dripping Pan, the Rooks boss admits he expects the first half of the season to be a real battle.

He said: We always knew going to a new club was going to be difficult, the way we play we want to play from the back and play attractive football takes times for everyone to get used to it.

“But I am under no illusions that we will come like a train after Christmas and finish really strong.

“It is all about what position we can get ourselves in leading up to Christmas, so at the moment we have just got to scrap and battle, put performances together, put some points on the board and get ourselves up the table.

“Then come the end of the year we will have the wind in our sails, and we will finish strong.

“We are working hard, but owe the travelling fans who come to Bromley last weekend an apology because it was not good enough, I thought we didn’t try hard enough and that is the minimum requirement.

“We have had a real heart-to-heart with the players, their reaction has been great, and we have had a really positive week and now face Cheshunt on Saturday.

He added: “I know their manager Craig Edwards really well, he is a great guy and he feels he has got the best squad he has ever had and they are going to be up there challenging.

“I have watched videos on them done my research and their front three is really quick, dynamic and score goals.

“They look lively in midfield and work very hard, so it is going to be a really tough game.

“But we have got to fight back, show some pride and give the fans something to shout about that is what we have spoken about be positive going forward and being brave.

“We are not going to take a backwards step as we are at home so we are going to go at them and they will come at us, so it has got the makings of a great game.”