Published: 06:00, 02 August 2019
Tonbridge boss Steve McKimm has challenged his players to prove the doubters wrong this season.
Angels are back in National League South after a five-year absence but the bookies can't see them staying there.
They're among the relegation favourites but that doesn't worry McKimm.
He said: "We've been written off to go straight back down and it's down to these boys to prove the doubters wrong.
"Someone's got to win the league and someone's got to go down and everyone has their opinions to start with.
"Come the end of April, we'll see who's right and who's wrong.
"We were written off last year when we had our bad run and we proved people wrong then.
"Every game is going to be tough, we know that, but I'd like to think all the managers will treat us with the utmost respect and know we won't be a gimme."
Tonbridge start at home to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday.
They're missing Sonny Miles, who serves the second match of a four-game ban following his red card in last season's play-offs, but everyone else is available.
McKimm said: "We've got to be excited. We earned our promotion and now we can look forward to this challenge.
"The team-talk won't be difficult because the players will motivate themselves.
"It's great for them to have the opportunity to play at this level and they have to be right up for every game, otherwise we will come unstuck.
"We've given them a good platform to play on and I think they'll embrace it. I don't see why they shouldn't.
"I don't think there'll be any nerves.
"If you get nervous you're on a hiding to nothing.
"The players know it's going to be tough but they just have to give their maximum in every single game.
"We've got to start well if we can.
"It's all right being promoted and having that feelgood factor but if you start badly it can knock you back a few steps.
"If we use the momentum we've got and pick up a few points in the first half a dozen games, it would be a big help."
Tonbridge visit Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night.
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More by this authorCraig Tucker