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MANAGER PREVIEW: City of Liverpool [H]

First-team manager Danny Grainger says his Reds side will need to be at their best when we welcome City of Liverpool to Borough Park tomorrow.

Grainger’s men are still searching for their first league win of the season, following three dominant draws in the NPL North West Division.

One of those was on Tuesday, 2-2 at home to Trafford where a sell-out 400 supporters came through the turnstiles, something which firstly pleased the boss.

“It was nice. It was great to have the fans back in and great to be back playing on Borough Park.,” he said.

“The pitch was in a great condition so credit to the guys who’ve done the work on that.

“The support the fans showed us, yet again, was tremendous.”

Following Reds’ first two disappointing draws, Grainger was encouraged by the midiweek display and explained why, saying: “We got back to what we’re about; a possession-based, patient team.

“We weren’t just sort of hoping for things, we felt like we could dictate the game.

“We drew but on another night, we might easily have won it. I was pleased with the performance.

“We’re getting punished for every little mistake we make at the moment but, hopefully, as the season goes on, they’ll start to get ironed out.”

In recent weeks, the first-team squad has been plagued by injuries, which include Robbie Hebson, Jordan Little, Conor Tinnion and Dav Symington.

It’s forced Grainger to shuffle his pack and the manager admitted his frustration on the situation.

“Ruddy and I said two days before the start of the season: ‘How do we pick the team?’ and now we’re saying that for a completely different reason,” he joked.

“It’s really frustrating, we’re not going to be the only team who has injuries throughout the season.”

However, he went on to say: “We’ve recruited during the summer, bolstered the squad and in my eyes, all the lads are more than capable of stepping in and playing different roles.”

An example of the re-jig, usual midfielder Ceiran Casson slotted in well in the back line against Trafford, something his boss made note of.

“You’ve got Cass playing at centre-back, who I thought did a tremendous job,” he affirmed.

“You’ve got other lads who’re playing in positions which maybe aren’t as natural to them.

“This is what they‘re doing for the team and the club. They’re doing what’s called upon them and trying their best which is the main thing.”

Finally, City of Liverpool were one of the teams we only played once during our curtailed last campaign.

The Purps have lost both league fixtures so far but having tested us last term in our 0-1 win, over 13 months ago, Grainger knows it won’t be easy.

“We can expect a good team. They’ll be very disappointed with the midweek result.

“They’ll be a hard-working, honest team and we’ll need to be at our very best to get something out of the game,” he stated.

“We’ve just got to stick to what we’re about. We’re not going to get away from what we are.

“Yes, the results aren’t going the way we want them to go but we’re three unbeaten and rolling on from last season, it’s 10.

“We’re happy with where we are and a little bit of tidiness, a little bit of cleaning up, then I’m sure we’ll get our first three points on the board.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 3pm and tickets are now sold out.

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