A YEAR and a week after taking on the job, Bradford Town manager Wayne Thorne underlined his public ambition – and intention – to win promotion from the Toolstation Premier Division.

Thorne replaced former Bobcats chief Rob Mallett in mid-October last year, and from day one confirmed his desire to guide Bradford into non-league’s fourth tier having won promotion with former club Larkhall five seasons earlier.

A stumbling start to Town’s 2018-19 season was rescued, as the club ended the year seventh despite languishing in the bottom half for a reasonable period of time.

And the club’s success story has – so far – been transferred to this season, with Thorne’s men sitting top of the Premier Division with 31 points secured from their opening 12 games.

Town’s dominance was underlined on Saturday when struggling Bridport were beaten 0-9 at St Mary’s Field.

That win was Thorne’s largest since he took charge of Town – and also his fifth success by a margin equal to or greater than five-goals.

No talk of promotion is yet to enter the Bobcats’ dressing room, but heads will turn if Thorne’s side can successfully negotiate the next three months.

“It’s a great start, we have our own targets in the group,” said Thorne.

“We finished seventh last year, anything above that will be viewed as an improvement by the club.

“But I’m not here to finish in the top six. From day one, I have said I want to get promotion.

“But it is so very early in the season to be talking about promotion. We need to get ourselves in a position by Christmas or the end of January where we can target where we want to be.

“The lads have a target until the new year.”

One element Thorne won’t have to worry about is complacency.

With former Melksham Town boss Kieran Baggs in his ranks – among other experience non-league players – the Bradford boss knows his squad isn’t naïve enough to presume a promotion push is likely come February.

Furthermore, Shepton Mallet, Street and Plymouth Parkway will be faced before December arrives.

Thorne added: “We won’t accept complacency. I have enough experience within the squad for them to stamp any complacency out themselves.

“But, because we’re top of the league, teams will want to raise their game when they face us. We’re the target, we’re the ones they want to beat.

“Everyone will raise their game to beat Bradford – and we’ve got to be wary of that.

“We’ve got Shepton Mallet coming up, Plymouth Parkway too.

“So many important games are coming up for the club, and the lads have been superb so far. I just hope it continues.”

Bradford Town return to action on Saturday in the FA Vase at Baffins Milton Rovers.