NEW signing Matt Warburton believes Salford City can challenge at the top of the National League North in the upcoming season as he continues to settle into life at Moor Lane.
The 24-year-old striker joined the newly-promoted Ammies this summer after three years at Curzon Ashton, whom he helped earn two back-to-back promotions to the sixth tier.
Warburton, who scored his first Salford goal in a 3-0 friendly win over Rylands last week, said he is loving life at his new club and is optimistic about their prospects in 2016-17.
“I’m absolutely loving it. I’m delighted to have signed, delighted to have got the move,” he told Salford City’s official YouTube channel.
“I had a great time at Curzon but this is just a new challenge – something that I’m ready for.
“I think I’ve bedded in quite well with the lads – we’ve got a great group here and I think we can do some really good things this year.
“I’m looking forward to the first game of the season – I want to be in the starting eleven like every lad in there wants to be. I want to get myself settled, get a few goals before Christmas and hopefully we can push on.
“I don’t see us being mid-table – I see us pushing on and challenging for play-offs and promotion this year. I’m hoping I can be a part of that.”
Warburton spoke after the Ammies lost 4-1 to League One side Fleetwood Town in a friendly at Moor Lane on Saturday – a result he described as ‘frustrating’.
He added: “We created half chances and didn’t take them. A lot of credit has to go to Fleetwood – I think they had a game plan, they had two separate teams and they set up rather well.
“We struggled to break them down at times and my overall thoughts are it was quite a frustrating day for us.
“I think you always come off thinking you could have done more than what you should have done – there was a couple of breaks where the ball got away from me and with a sharper touch I could have got myself in.
“I wouldn’t say I’m pleased with the performance but I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed either.”
Aside from the Rylands and Fleetwood games, Salford have also beaten Welsh outfit Caernarfon Town 4-1 during their pre-season schedule so far.
Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side next face local rivals Irlam on Tuesday night before a glamorous friendly against Manchester United to come on July 26 at Moor Lane.