Manager Danny Grainger has described tomorrow’s welcoming of Brighouse Town as a ‘real test.’
Reds will play their third of four consecutive games at Borough Park in the space of 10 days after making it through to the quarter-finals of the Integro League Cup on Tuesday.
Firstly on the 2-0 win over Ossett United, Grainger said: “It’s nice to be involved in other competitions.
“Sometimes a little break away can give you a bit of leeway to express yourself a bit more, even though we want to be successful, because the league is our bread and butter.
“It was nice to make a few changes and freshen things up.
“Even right up until half an hour before we named the team, myself or Aidan [Howarth] were going to play [at centre-back].
“I felt it was the right choice to chuck me in to start with and then, hopefully, get Aidan on which we did.
Like any midweek match, it can be a busy day for our players and the boss also revealed how much of the first-team squad’s regular commitment has impressed him.
“I appreciate everything the boys do. It’s been a real eye-opener since I came in, the commitment they show week-in, week-out; training sessions, games, midweek after hard days at work, to come and work their backsides off.
“They’re getting their rewards for it and we’ve got seven weeks between now and the end of the season with three chances of silverware.”
Play-off-chasing Brighouse have been ominous opposition this season.
An FA Trophy qualifying match earlier in the campaign was postponed due to the now 7th-placed side fielding an ineligible player in the previous round.
In November, this fixture was called-off late on the Friday evening due to Borough Park being deemed unsafe.
However, it all seems set for these sides to finally meet as West Yorkshire outfit make their first ever trip to West Cumbria and Grainger is confident his team are prepared.
“We’ve prepared for them before. We know what their dangers are, obviously they’ve changed slightly.
“It’s going to be a real test for us, probably up there with some of the toughest games we’ve had in the last 10.
“We’re unbeaten in the league at home for a reason and we’ll go into the game with confidence knowing we can a result. Obviously, we’ve just got to keep doing our side of the business and make sure we’ve done our job.
“We won’t look too far ahead. We’ll take every game as it comes but we need to realise that we need to keep putting pressure on teams by doing our job first and foremost.”
With the aforementioned rotation in midweek, the starting XI will be one to watch out for with plenty of players in-form possibly missing out.
Nevertheless, the boss isn’t thinking of changing his ways as regards to picking a team.
“It’s something I believe heavily in, just because you win a game, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to start the next game.
“You’ve got to pick what’s right for the next game. Some of the runs we’ve been on – even beating Kendal and making six changes – not many people would’ve seen it.
“You don’t want to change it too much but you don’t want lads getting complacent. You need to know they’ve got to work hard to keep their place in the team.
“When we speak to lads who’ve been left out of the team and explain the situation, 99 times out of 100 it’s not been performance-related. It’s because we feel we can hurt the opposition in different ways.
“That’s what we’ll do between now and the end of the season; we’ll pick the right teams that we think are right for the game. It might be right, it might be wrong but we need to make sure we’re there or there abouts.
Kick-off tomorrow is 3pm and we will travel to the Yorkshire Payments Stadium for our final away match of the season on Saturday April 18.