Wolves Women right-back Leanne Rimmer is confident that her side are beginning to find their feet in the Northern Premier Division, despite facing a potential fixture backlog.
Wolves were promoted last season and suffered a shaky start to life at a higher level, but have picked up in recent games, and Rimmer says there is a positive atmosphere among the squad as they prepare for the second half of the campaign.
"To be honest, stepping up a division was difficult," the 23 year-old admits. "Going from being the big fish where you're favourites to win the league and spending pretty much the whole season at the top of the table to having little or no expectations was a reality check.
"We had to earn our place in this new league and establish ourselves. Our rocky start to the season showed how much of a learning curve it was."
Four straight defeats combined with serious injuries to two key members of the squad had left Wolves reeling, but what Rimmer describes as the 'turning point' came in the shape of a 4-4 cup draw against Manchester City, who play in the league above Wolves.
"As it was a cup game against a National Premier Division side, there was no pressure on us," she explains. "We managed to defy perhaps even our own expectations by getting a draw, and we potentially could have edged it.
"That gave us a much needed confidence boost. We're a very close team with a great atmosphere and I believe we've stepped up to the mark together.
"Of course the start to the season was disappointing, but I feel we made real gains just before Christmas and hopefully we can carry that through to the second half of the season," she adds.
Wolves have taken four points from their last two league games, but their upturn in form has been tempered with the frustration of several matches falling victim to the weather - their last league game was a victory over Leicester on November 11.
Rimmer, who joined Wolves at the age of 14 and has made her way through the youth ranks, admits that the lack of games is a worry.
"The fact that our last league game was a few months ago is concerning but we have been trying to keep match fit by playing for the reserves where possible," she says.
"It is frustrating not being able to play, but I guess that the only comfort is that all teams are in the same position so we shouldn't be too worried about other teams having an advantage over us."
She continues: "Towards the end of the season the schedule for fitting games in will no doubt be tight, and there is obviously a danger of tiredness and fatigue kicking in, making injuries more likely.
"However, last season we found ourselves in a similar position - having to fit a lot of games into a short period of time - and it actually worked in our favour, as we were able to gain a momentum and keep on top."
Wolves will be hoping to follow last season's promotion-winning success up with survival this season, and Rimmer is confident that they have the necessary quality and morale to be achieve to achieve the feat.
"For the remainder of the season we have some must win games and our aim is to stay up, establish our position in the league and next season, look to start making our way up the table.
"We've been training really well, our morale and spirits are high, and I would definitely say we're showing some very promising signs of being able to stand our ground in this league."