THEY have been playing catch-up from day one this season, and Wanderers defender Adam Chicksen feels they are – at long last –on the verge of turning their on-field fortunes around.

The left-back, a free-agent signing in September after his release from Bradford City in the summer, has seen fitness levels rise in Keith Hill’s frantically-assembled squad.

And now that more minutes are in their legs and a greater understanding of each other’s games is in place, he is confident the club’s first win since the end of March is not far away.

“Our fitness levels are getting higher, as you’re seeing in games and I’m starting to feel good and feel positive,” he said.

“I don’t think points are entering my head at this point, at the minute we’re trying to set a foundation where we’re going to dominate teams and run over them and we’re not having too much emphasis on ‘we need to get to this point in this many games ahead of us’.

“That pressure isn’t needed at the minute, we’re focusing on gelling as players and as staff together, learn each other’s game and making sure we meet the manager’s needs and what he expects of us. Once we do that the results will come in, I’m sure.”

Ahead of the visit of Hill’s former club, Rochdale, to the UniBol this afternoon, Chicksen was full of praise for the methods his new manager employs.

And, at the age of 28, the former MK Dons trainee feels his game is being improved with every passing moment spent on the training ground at Lostock.

“I’ve played against Keith Hill’s teams before and I know they’re very fit and very well drilled,” he said.

“I knew about him and Flicker [assistant David Flitcroft] before, I knew what I was letting myself in for but since I’ve come in the demands asked of me – I haven’t had that from any manager before.

“It’s taken my learning and my level up exponentially because they demand so much, which is something I need at my stage.

“I’m learning every day from them.”