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MANAGER PREVIEW: Danny Grainger on the Cumbrian Derby

First-team manager Danny Grainger has reiterated that every team will raise their game against Reds this season ahead of a Cumbrian Derby tomorrow.

Grainger’s side will make the short trip to Parkside Road to face Kendal Town with the hope of bouncing back from Tuesday’s Emirates FA Cup defeat.

Reds were the victims of a four-goal midweek comeback, as Radcliffe ran out 5-3 winners, with our defender Sam Smith seeing red late on.

With cup competitions out of mind for the time being, we have the NPL North West Division to concentrate on.

Speaking yesterday, Grainger is now focussing on getting back to normality ahead of our local showdown.

“The league’s always been our bread and butter,” he said.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re ready for the challenge that Kendal are going to pose.

“Yes, it’s a Cumbrian Derby but we’ll be treating it the same as every other game.

“We’ll be going there to get three points and we won’t be playing the occasion, we’ll be playing our normal game.”

Having drawn 2-2 at Pickering Town on the opening day last weekend, Reds were warned that how teams performed last term won’t be much of a reflection of them in this campaign.

“Teams are going to be different,” Grainger acknowledged.

“I don’t think there’ll be many teams with the same starting XI or backbone as they had last year.

“Some will be very different and we can’t approach games thinking they’ll be the same team we played last year.

“Kendal will be right up for it, they’ll be wanting to get points on the board early and we need to make sure we’re ready for the challenge.

“As I said after the game on Tuesday, every team will raise their game against us knowing we’re one of the most settled teams in the league regarding how many players we’ve brought in.

“They [the opposition] know what to expect but we’re looking forward to it and we’re ready.”

One new face in our team is Reuben Jerome, who has formed a productive partnership up front with Scott Allison – our club top scorer with 124 goals.

Jerome’s hold-up play and ability to occupy opposition defenders has allowed Allison to pick up where he left off last season, something their boss is more than pleased with.

“They’ve been very good! When your strikers are scoring goals, you’re always going to be happy,” he explained.

“We brought Reuben in to play through the middle but that’s not to say he’ll play there all season.

“He could find himself out wide, he could find himself rotated, as will Scotty.

“I genuinely think Scotty reads the game so well from the wide areas and if he can keep making runs off Reuben, they’ll be a handful for any team.

“It’s showing now; Scotty’s got four goals in three games Reuben’s got two so that’s the type of partnership we’re looking for.”

Finally, as to be expected with the busy early season schedule, our injury list is getting longer.

After picking up knocks midweek, Grainger gave us an update ahead of training last night.

“We’ve got a few we’ll have to assess tonight, one could be longer than what we’d hoped,” he revealed.

“We’re waiting on some results from Robbie Hebson and hopefully, Jordan Little should be back invovled at some point within the next week.”

Kick-off tomorrow is at 15:00, and Kendal will be operating with the NHS track and trace system as tickets are only available at the turnstile.

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