Kingstonian may have made some stellar signings, but Corinthian Casuals chief Matt Howard says they will play second fiddle to Margate in the Ryman Premier League this term.
Casuals got up close and personal with new boss Tommy William's men in the Geoff Harvey Memorial Vase earlier this month with Ks running out impressive 3-0 winners.
But, while Howard has backed them for a strong campaign, he fears promotion will only come via the play-offs.
“Ks have made some very good signings, look strong and will be there or thereabouts,” said the Casuals boss.
“Margate, with the players they have signed, will be unstoppable and will absolutely steam roller that league.
"Odds on them winning it will be short but I think a decent bet be would be whether they can complete the season unbeaten."
Howard was disappointed with his side's defeat at Colliers Wood United last Friday – but will not lose sleep over it.
Casuals, who went down 4-1, have lost three of their four pre-season friendlies thus far, conceding 12 goals in the process.
Casuals kick-off their Ryman Division One South campaign with the visit of Sittingbourne on August 9 and that is all Howard is concerned with.
“In my 18 games in charge that was the worst performance in terms of attitude,” he said.
“I am extremely laid back about pre-season. I do not really care about the results as long as the players are getting fit. August is when it counts.”
Howard has added two players to his squad for the coming campaign and expects to add two more prior to the start of the season.
But, while the new signings have been a boost, the King George’s Arena chief is just happy he has not had to rebuild this summer.
“Apart from losing Saheed Sankoh we have managed to keep hold of everyone, which is a big job,” he said.
“Players who worry about money at this level are not what we are not the sort of players we are looking for.
“Our finish to last season was brilliant, but we need to hit the ground running.
“If we can start well, who knows what might happen.”