Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio expects Spennymoor Town– this weekend’s visitors to Victory Park – to be one of their promotion rivals this season.
The Magpies still sit top of the National League North table despite losing twice this week – their first defeats of the season in all competitions.
After their 1-0 and 3-0 losses at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday and Stockport in midweek respectively, Kidderminster Harriers have cut the gap to just one point.
And Vermiglio is under no illusions about the strength of the chasing pack.
“When you look at the points and who is close by, there is obviously Kidderminster who are certainly challengers,” he said.
“Then there is Bradford, who have done really well.
“When you look at current form, Chester are starting to pick up a few points after a disappointing start. The result they had against Blyth was unexpected.
“But there are clubs capable of putting runs together. They are the big clubs in the league, the ones with the much talked-about resources, like York City, who are capable of going on a run.
“Guiseley and Spennymoor play good football too, and are a difficult team to face. I think there are probably 10, maybe even 15 sides who could be challenging.
“As the season has gone on we are 14 games into the season and the league table is starting to come together.
“But it is still difficult to rule your sort of eighth, ninth, 10th position out of a push to be leaders.
“I think all of them are capable of going on a run.”
Vermiglio is convinced his men can enjoy a return to home comforts tomorrow – they are still unbeaten at Victory Park.
He said: “We were nowhere near our best this week. It was not the Chorley team that has got us where we are.
“But we go again, train and prepare for Spennymoor, who are the form side in the league.
“We are back at home now, back at Victory Park and hopefully we can get back to a more positive result.”