Hartlepool United head coach Mick Wadsworth has refused to proclaim his side as League One promotion candidates despite an impressive start.
Pools' 1-0 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday was the club's first league loss of the season, following a run of five wins from nine.
"It's too early to say, the whole thing can change radically," Wadsworth told BBC Look North.
"If we lose two games, win two games, the league table changes massively."
Pools enjoyed a similar run of form last season, with six wins in seven games propelling the club into a play-off spot at the turn of the year.
However a post-Christmas slump saw Wadsworth's side fall away, and fail to register another win in their following seven matches; a situation the former DR Congo boss is confident they can avoid this term.
"We're in better shape to have a crack at promotion than we were a year ago, we've got a little bit more depth," Wadsworth continued.
"We've had injuries this year and we've dealt with them rather well with people coming into the squad and that has been a better marker.
"If we can go into the new year in the top third of the table we'll be in good shape to have a good go for the final third of the season."