NEW Harwich and Parkeston skipper Nicky Palmer believes it is "imperative" everyone at the club sticks together to steady the ship after a "turbulent" first few months of the season.

The Shrimpers made a disappointing start to their Thurlow Nunn League first division south campaign and consequently decided to part company with manager Kieron Shelley.

Mike Wallace, who had been assistant boss, has agreed to take the reins until the end of the year.

Harwich have won their two games since he took charge and he will be hoping to make it three in a row when the club head to Coggeshall United on Saturday.

Their last game of 2019 is the eagerly-awaited derby at home to neighbours and rivals Little Oakley, on December 28.

In addition to the managerial situation, a number of players have left the club, including skipper Jordan Heath, Kevin Coyle, Joe Knight and Michael Murray.

But after inheriting the captain's armband from Heath, Palmer feels there is plenty to be positive about.

"It's been a turbulent season, considering the success of last year, but it's such a positive move to make sure Mike has remained at the club," he told the Standard.

"Mistakes have been made since the end of last season but it's imperative we now work together to steady the ship and make sure the priorities are right.

"We now have a better mix of players both ability-wise and character-wise than at the start of the season.

"Things have gone wrong and I feel the people at the top have identified what mistakes have been made and are looking to ensure we don’t fall into this trap again.

"The start of the season was very reminiscent of the 2009/10 campaign, when we pulled out of the (then) Ridgeons League.

"But what's happened will be fixed and now we need to push on.

"Players that have opted to stay, such as Shaun Bartlett, Dan Clarke and Sam Felgate, show we're still ambitious and they are top-quality players who would walk into any team in the league.

"Players have come and go and the reasons behind their departures I don’t agree with but that’s football.

"I’ve seen players leave for good reasons and I've seen players leave for not so positive reasons, but it's what happens at this level of football.

"There is now a rejuvenated harmony and work ethic in the side and the boys want to pay back Mike, (chairman) Tony Armstrong and all other people behind the scenes for the faith and support we’ve received over the past 18 months."

Palmer believes he and his new-look team have plenty to be positive about.

"The side we have now is competitive and everyone is now starting to find the enjoyment again," he said.

"I can only put this down to Mike.

"I've never in all my years seen a manager work so hard for a club and receive so little in praise back.

"He's on Harwich business from morning until night - the man doesn’t stop.

"How he combines that with his full-time job and family I will never know.

"It's a pleasure to play for him and I'm looking forward to implementing the ideas he has going forward.

"Being made captain on a permanent basis is a real honour and one I relish.

"Anyone who knows me will be well aware that I love the club and will continue to remain here as long as I can possibly play.

"There were a number of players that could’ve been offered the armband and I would have happily backed the decision but it's a real pleasure to be able to pull on the black and white while being captain.

"It's now time to kick on and get some points on the board and see where the rest of the season takes us."