THE speed at which his newly-constructed squad have hit the ground running in Vanarama National League South has left manager Glen Driver surprised - but very impressed.

Driver only took the Iron helm at the start of June and, with just Alfie Cerulli and Jayden Gipson remaining from last year’s side, had to build a new squad from scratch on one of the division’s tightest budgets.

He was never under any illusion over the size of the task at hand, but has filled his side with young hungry players who are stepping up to the mark at the moment.

They have fired Braintree up to second in the league’s form table over the last six games and that has pleased Driver, but he admits he has been pleasantly surprised with how quickly his players have developed as a unit.

“You have to have a philosophy and get people to believe in it,” he said.

“It does not always come down to ability, it comes down to hunger and I believe we have that in our boys.

“Ade Cole has won the player of the month and has been outstanding for us and then there are players like Femi Akinwande, who has been so good, and the goalkeeper (Michael Johnson), who keeps on impressing.

“Have I been surprised at how well we’ve done in the early part of the season?

“I’ll honestly have to say yes I have been.”

However, the Iron boss also knows there is a long way to go and he wants to see some areas of play be improved in coming games.

Driver added: “I have been so impressed with how well we have all come together, but there are things to improve.

“At this moment, I feel we are better with the ball than without it.

“However, as soon as we get to where we want to be without it and have the side exactly as we want it, then I know that we’ll be more than a match for anyone in this division.

“We went to Chippenham and played them off the park and then went to Concord Rangers and scored twice but conceded two as well.

“I’m happy with how things are going, but I know we have to be better off the ball.”