TIVIDALE will have to work harder to maintain their fine start to the season because of losing their surprise element, says manager Ian Long.

The boss at The Beeches thinks teams will now be on guard against his side following their unbeaten start to life in Division One of the Northern Premier League.

He said: "We will have lost that element of surprise after such a good start. Teams that may have taken us lightly or not known much about us will now be aware of the threat we can pose.

"That will make life a little harder as we look to build on our start and is something we now need to overcome.

"However, I still think we are underdogs in every game we play and will be telling the players that.

"There is no pressure on the team so we will just be aiming to continue the way we have been playing," he added.

Tivi will return to league action this Saturday when they welcome Mickleover Sports.

There were due to take on Shawbury at The Beeches last night in the FA Cup replay after the sides shared a 3-3 draw last Saturday.

"It is important that a club like Tividale have a good run in the cup. We will be doing all we can to progress," said Long, whose team would earn a tie against Stafford Rangers in the next round if they can get the better of Shawbury.

Meanwhile, Tividale have been hit by an injury to Jordan Archer.

The forward, who has had an impressive start to the season, broke a bone in his foot on Saturday and will be out for around eight weeks.