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“Clitheroe will be tough opposition”

Reds boss Danny Grainger says Clitheroe will be ‘tough opposition’ ahead of their Northern Premier League match in Lancashire tomorrow.

Sitting top of the North West division having played the same amount of games as 11th-placed Clitheroe, his side are looking to extend their lead in the table to nine points at Shawbridge.​

Bouncing back from first league defeat of the campaign at Mossley last weekend, Reds claimed their third clean sheet the term, something which pleased the former Carlisle United captain.

We want as many clean sheets as possible.

Danny Grainger said on Sunday.

If we keep them, we’ve got​the lads in the squad who can score goals and win games. We’ve said from day one that if we control the game the way we know we can, we won’t give up many chances.

The lads yesterday [Saturday] were fantastic; we probably gave away too many chances and another day could’ve been pushed but we had some last-ditch defending and great saves.

One part of the back line at Borough Park was former Carlisle youth product Liam Brockbank, as the young left-back was handed a call-up to England U21s futsal team for their friendly at St. George’s Park on Friday.

A former left-sided full back himself, Grainger spoke about when he himself got the news, saying:

I actually was at home and I had three missed calls on my phone from Brock, so I thought ‘oh no, what’s going on?’ and started to worry a bit.​

He asked if it was alright to go down and we told him ‘of course’.

It’s an amazing achievement to represent your country at anything. I mentioned it in the dressing room after the game as it’s a massive privilege, especially in such a prestigious way, so we were all over the moon for him.

“He’s one who’s been fantastic since he’s came and done well in every game that he’s played.”

Moving to tomorrow’s fixture, the game will be both sides’ 10th of the season in the division, and Grainger feels that his sizeable squad has gelled well during a hectic opening seven weeks of weekend and midweek matches.

We need a big squad to compete and push,” he continued. “The lads have gelled and really had a go at it. The team spirit in the dressing room is great, you come in and it’s bouncing. We said last week that we don’t get too high when we win and don’t get too low when we lose.

We’re gonna lose Jay Kelly for five months as he goes to do his apprenticeship, so that’ll be a loss for us. We were delighted to get someone like Clarkey in late on, and it’s gonna be a lot harder to keep everyone happy Saturday to Saturday without midweek games.

Grainger is not reading too much into Phil Brown’s team’s current predicament ahead of the clash, having conceded the fourth-most goals in the division with 16.​

You don’t ignore it. Especially with the teams who’ve played a similar amount of games as us,” he revealed.​

We’ve been lucky with people who watch the games for us and give us information. Clitheroe will be tough opposition, they’re young and fearless at times but we just need to impose ourselves and be as ruthless as we’ve been in the last few games.

Kick-off tomorrow evening is 7:45pm.​

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