After four games, eight goals and a number of impressive performances after just four league games, one can't help but be impressed with the start to the season Drogheda United have made, and Mick Cooke is certainly delighted with their early form and has every right to be.
"I'm very happy, because looking at last season we didn't even have seven points in our first series of games. I'm delighted with the solid start we've had and the performances so far have also been very pleasing."
There has been no shortage of goals in Cooke's side and he is encouraged that there are plenty of goals coming from his midfielders as well as his strikers. "I'm pleased with our form on front of goal, obviously its nice to be able to get on the score sheet. We have eight goals in four matches now and at the weekend we had four different goal scorers which is great because it shows we aren't depending on our strikers."
Comments are already being made about the great spirit in the Drogheda camp after their comeback at Turners Cross a few weeks ago, but Mick feels they have shown it since the League opener against Shamrock Rovers. "I think the lads have shown it even prior to the Cork game. We showed it against Shamrock Rovers when we went 2-1 down early in the second half I thought the lads showed great spirit that night and then to go two down in Cork, where many teams would fold I'd imagine, we showed great spirit again and even when Bray were on top during a period of the game on Friday, the lads showed great spirit once again to go on and get the three points.
"So yeah, there's good spirit, its a good squad and there is competition for places so it was certainly nice to be able to bring on the likes of Fabio O'Brien and Sean Brennan and to score as well so it gives me a selection headache ahead of the game against Derry."
Mick is also delighted with how quickly his new players have settled in to the squad and a top half finish this season is a realistic ambition for his Drogs side. "They have indeed [settled in], pre-season was very good and everyone was cementing together very quickly. We are certainly up and running now I suppose you could say and if we stay free of injuries a top half finish is very achievable this season."
With an EA Sports Cup tie to come against Athlone Town later this evening, he confirmed it is a competition he is taking seriously and would like to win: "Yeah it's something I'll be putting focus on, we want to stay in every competition as long as possible. We got a bit of a knock last Monday when Firhouse Clover drew with us in the Leinster Cup and to be honest I feel Firhouse deserved a victory so it was a rude awakening for us but we bounced back well on Friday.
"The EA Sports Cup is something I'll certainly look to stay in for as long as possible and I know we'll face a tough task against Athlone, I won't be taking them for granted anyway because I'll be putting out a strong side and if all things are going well I'll give a few of the fringe players a run in the second half."
Next up for the Drogs is a home tie against Derry City and Mick is well aware of what awaits in arguably their toughest game so far this season: "We'll prepare well, we know Declan Devine is doing a great job up there after taking over from where Stephen Kenny has left off and he's certainly done a good job in retaining players like Stewart Greacen, Owen Morrison and Mark Farren who I'm sure everyone is delighted to see playing again. It won't be an easy task for us and it won't be for them either because we'll be fired up for it and hopefully we can get something out of the game."
Alan Finn is a Sligo based reporter who joined the Extratime crew in 2012. If there is a match on in The Showgrounds, it is likely you will find him there.