Salford City's summer recruit Ian Henderson knows there will be a weight of expectation on the club this season, and believes that good old-fashioned hard work is what will ultimately lead to promotion.
Henderson, a prolific goalscorer with Rochdale for seven years until his move to Salford in July, is sure to be among the favourites to claim League Two's golden boot in 2020/21.
His signing, along with several others during the summer transfer window, mean that the Ammies will be widely tipped for promotion this season, but the striker says that pressure shouldn't be a burden.
Speaking to Colin Murray as part of the EFL's annual season launch event, he said: “I think it’s really important to put upon people that there may be expectations, but those will only come from doing basic fundamentals every day in training – things like hard work in training and pushing it into matchdays.
"You can use all of the superlatives on the planet, but getting promoted takes hard work, grinding every Saturday and Tuesday, and I’m a big believer in doing those basics right. There may be some sort of stigma around the club, but the way to get through promoted is through grit, determination and hard work.
“You have to own it if the expectations are that high, but you have to compete every week and win matches to do that. We are in such a cut-throat business and we want to win games. The more we do that, the more points we’ll accumulate and the further we’ll be able to take this team."
As for the move itself, Henderson says Graham Alexander is building something special at Salford City, but wouldn't reveal his personal targets when it comes to goals ahead of the new campaign.
“It’s on to pastures new, and I’m excited to be part of a really, really exciting project at Salford City," he added. I’ve signed for the next couple of years and the ambition is to help the club be successful.
"It’s been well documented through the owners and the manager that they want success, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is too, so it’s going to be an exciting season.
"I think it’s a level playing field at the moment because squads haven’t been fully built by managers so it’s going to be interesting going into the first couple of weeks of the season to see how the dimensions of teams change. It’s going to be an interesting season to say the least.
“I’ll always keep those [targets] close to my chest. It’s not about individual accolades, it’s about the team, and I don’t say that flippantly. If I can be a part of helping create success, that’s the most important thing, as well as helping younger players evolve and develop – I take pride in that."