Dean Barker is determined to make the best of a tricky situation when Kings Langley kick off their new Southern League season with a tough trip to Nuneaton Borough on Saturday.

Continued pitch renovation works at the Sadiku Stadium mean Kings will be playing their first four Premier Division Central fixtures away from home, having been on the road for all nine of their pre-season friendlies.

"Listen, if you spoke to any manager it wouldn't be ideal to play nine friendlies away from and then the first four away but we make of it what we can,” Barker said. “Everyone gets to know each other a little bit better and all the players knew the situation so we'll get on with it and have a few more home games towards the end of the season.”

Borough are among the favourites for promotion, but Barker is relishing the opportunity to see how his side shape up against one of the leading sides in the division.

He said: "They were a Conference club a couple of years ago so on paper it's a tough start and we've watched them play. There's a reason why they're the title favourites so most definitely it's a tough game away from home but what a game to be involved in first up.

"Going to Nuneaton will be a good indication of what the level's going to be like this season and then we have Peterborough that won step four last year on Tuesday. They're two tough games straight away but we're looking forward to them and that's why we want to be involved in this level of football and they're the games you want to play.”

The Kings boss, who succeeded Gary Conroy as manager at the start of June at a club that has been moved across from Premier Division South , will be without the injured trio of Dean Hitchcock, Lewis Putman and Kyle Connolly at the weekend. However, Barker moved to strengthen Kings’ forward options on Tuesday by signing the Watford-born former Southend United and Barnet striker Harry Crawford.

The manager said: “He's played in the Football League with Barnet and played a lot of Conference football including in the Conference South for Hampton and Richmond last year. He adds good experience to quite a young group.

“I know we've got a few boys here that have played at the level but there are some younger ones and he's been training with us and he will add goals and a bit of know how up front.”

Kings finished their pre-season preparations with a 2-0 victory at Barton Rovers last weekend and Barker has been pleased with how the summer has progressed.

He said: "It's going really well. We've got to know all the players and we've played nine pre-season friendlies. I know results don't matter too much in pre-season but it's good to win most of them and we've only lost one.

“We've looked at quite a few players and cut the squad down now to about 20 ready for Saturday. So far it's been really good and the boys have been good to work with and everyone's looking forward to Saturday.”