JOHN Fisher is determined to avoid defeat on the opening day of the season.

The veteran manager takes his Highworth Town side to Reading Town tomorrow as the Hellenic League Premier Division campaign gets underway.

And the Worthians chief knows that his side have been given a tough start to the new season.

“Reading, from what I have heard, are making a big push for the title this year,” Fisher said. “They have put together a good squad.

“But the most important thing for any manager with the first game of the season is to avoid defeat.

“Everyone wants the win first and foremost, but if you can get the draw then it means you are up and running - you’ve got your first point on the board.

“We have got a tough start, after Reading we’ve got Brimscombe and then the FA Cup.

“If someone says to me that I can get four points and be in the next round of the cup now I’ll take it.”

Having gone through so many pre-seasons before, Fisher is looking forward to getting the campaign started and believes that his side can push for the top six at the very least.

“You never know who is going to do what until the season starts. By the end of September you start to get a better idea of what everyone is doing.

“I think if we can all stick together and show a bit of commitment then we can get in the top six, maybe even higher.

“The team that is going to win this league is the one that stays injury-free and has that bit of luck that is needed to go along with all the hard work they put in.”

Fisher will be without Jonny Aitkenhead and Chris Flanagan for the opening week of the season due to knee complaints but is confident that he won’t be struggling for numbers.

“In the first few games, you’ve always got five subs, everyone is trying to get a game,” Fisher explained.

“If you are winning then everyone sticks around - no-one has ever said to me ‘Fish I’m leaving’ because we are winning.

“The problems start when you have a few injuries, a few players have gone elsewhere to get a game and the results aren’t going your way.

“I’ve got all the players I want, everyone has signed on, and this is the strongest squad I’ve had in my three seasons at the club.”