FOUR wins in a row. Two in the FA Cup. Three away from home. Three against big physical sides above us in the league. Let’s not get too excited but things are starting to look up. Oh bugger it; Darlo are fun to follow once again. I love it!

It certainly hasn’t been a smooth run over those four games. We’ve conceded goals. We’ve had backs against the wall. But, we’ve also had battle. Lots and lots of battle. As a Darlo fan, it’s all you ask of your players. Battle like your lives depend on it. If you do, things will come good and sure enough we’re starting to see things turn in our favour.

At some point, I know we need to consign last season to the history books and move on, but at the moment it is a reference point for comparing to how we are doing this season. Last season, effort levels were negligible. It’s why we spent most of the time looking over our shoulders at the drop zone. This season, there can be no questioning the effort. None whatsoever.

Even when things haven’t gone our way, there has been effort. It might have been misplaced, but no Darlo player has given up the fight. With the wins flowing, you can see how it has further lifted the players. There is no lung-busting run too many. There is no shirking of the challenge. There is no victory without sacrifice. It’s refreshing to watch and judging by Saturday’s crowd, it is being appreciated by the fans.

A lot of credit is due to the manager Alun Armstrong. He could have stuck with the expensive flops of last season. He decided he could spend his money differently and took us in another direction, completely reshaping the squad.

It took a little while for that squad to find its groove. Further additions have been made and this is where Armstrong has really excelled bringing players in who have further improved the side despite his budget seemingly being down to fumes. He is eeking out every last ounce of value to be had and it is finally coming good on the pitch. I am delighted for him.

At times earlier in the season, particularly away from home, he cut a perplexed figure. Whether it was individual mistakes or spells in the game where we just didn’t get going, it appeared to be hard for him to understand how an Alun Armstrong side had lost how it did. Now, you can see the delight.

The fist pumps towards the Tin Shed after Saturday’s win over Boston United’s Harrogate Town tribute was the official declaration we’d got the result we deserved. I couldn’t begrudge him if he is starting to feel a little bit vindicated for all the hard work put in over the summer.

With everyone feeling pumped, let’s keep this up. Saturday will be the first time we’ve played in the fourth round qualifying of the FA Cup since Hinckley in 2011. Between Exodus Geohaghon, Raj Singh and a replay defeat, that cup tie nearly killed the club. It’s been hard work but we have come back stronger. This Saturday is about exorcising that whole sorry episode.

We have a team and a club we can be proud of. Let’s get down to Tamworth in good numbers, support out team and get our ball in to the red velvet bag for the first round draw. The FA cup is great opportunity to show the footballing world and also the town that Darlo are alive and kicking and we’re thriving.