MANAGER Glen Driver is under no illusion of the task that lies ahead for his Braintree Town team this season in a very competitive Vanarama National League South.

Driver is well aware that rival managers will have far greater budgets than he has at his disposal and, having had to build a squad from scratch since taking over as Iron boss in June, that they will be up against far more experienced and established teams.

Braintree will be coming up against three of those in the first week alone as they face a trio of sides tipped to be challenging for the play-offs this season, with Saturday's trip to Bath City followed by home games against Billericay Town on Tuesday and then Wealdstone on August 10.

But while it may seem daunting, former Leiston boss Driver is not flinching away from the challenge and said he and his players will meet it on the front foot.

"I know we have a tough start, but we will stay very positive," he said.

"We had good starts when we were at Leiston and that is where we have to be positive.

"The good thing about myself and (assistant manager) Tony (Kinsella) is that we have the nous to change it up when we need to make us a difficult side to play against.

"As long as the players take on board what we tell them, then I think there can be one or two surprises.

"I've watched Billericay play in pre-season and I could see that they conceded the same goals that they did when they last played us at Leiston; we put four past them that day and it could have been eight so I see no reason why we shouldn't be confident heading into these games.

"We have to be positive - it's the only way to be.

"Maybe we will come out of this first week with three wins.

"We just have to be solid and keep doing what we believe in."

Braintree's pre-season action has seen them having to bring a team together and then learn to play how Driver wants them to and he admits that it has been a testing spell, but now the summer preparations are almost done, their boss is now looking forward to getting the season under way.

"It has been very hard work," he added.

"When I was on my holiday ahead of the announcement that I'd got the job, the excitement was a bit overwhelming at times, but we have had to build this side from scratch and that has been very hard.

"I have had to chase deals and it has been really difficult.

"It's been a long journey, but then I knew it would be tough when I took the job.

"In some ways it could have been easier, but it has had to be very hands on every day and every evening. "With that in mind, Saturday can't come soon enough for me to actually get into the season.

"We will go to Bath and I know people may not give us a cat in hell's chance, but I am feeling confident.

"I'm sure they will have looked at our system, but we can mix things up and we'll be working on that this week, so I know we can surprise a few people."