First-team manager Danny Grainger says his Reds side will be looking to make our fans back home proud as we return to Northern Premier League action at Brighouse Town tomorrow.
The resumption of the league season season in Tier 3-restricted Yorkshire means no away fans are permitted to travel from West Cumbria, for our first NPL North West match in eight weeks.
Speaking ahead of training on Thursday, Grainger previewed the fixture, beginning by discussing the long-awaited restart.
“It feels like a long time since we’ve really got going,” he said.
“We got some good results before the lockdown and built some momentum with some great performances and all-of-a-sudden were stopped in our tracks.”
Anticipation has rapidly built since the announcement but like everyone at the club, Grainger has acknowledged the priorities and compromises which need to be made
“Everyone’s excited to get back to the joy of a competitive match.
“Obviously, though, we’ve always said from day one that people’s health comes first.
“We’re gutted our fans won’t be able to travel in their numbers as they always do.
“Our fans are the best in the league in my eyes and I don’t just say that because they’re ours but because of the way the support us.
“They’re always right behind us and that’s what we need sometimes to get us across the line when we’re behind and things like that.
“We just have to make sure we put a performance in that they can be proud of back home following via the radio, live updates and social media.”
Opponents Brighouse sit second-bottom of the table, while Reds sit second at the opposite end, suffering a struggling start under manager Vill Powell.
Brig’s position isn’t creating any illusions our boss, though, who’s warning what we could face.
“They’re be very dangerous,” affirmed Grainger.
“Some would say it’s one of the best teams to play but even then, we’re one of the best teams they could play.
“It’s a free hit for them where no one’s expecting them to get a result so they can go out and come at us.
“Their manager’s very passionate about how he wants his team to play and represent his club.
“We don’t look at their position in the league, we look at their threats and how we can stop them.
“We need to make sure we apply ourselves and if we do, I’m sure we can get the result we want taking it two difficult games.”
The weather has now changed, thankfully, and Grainger has noticed a natural change and ‘real buzz’ in squad since the news on Tuesday.
“Without a doubt there’s a difference,” stated the boss.
“In pre-season, nothing emulates that first game and the same applies here.
“There’s been the nagging ‘Is there an end in sight?’ since we’ve come back but now we’ve got a target, you can see a real buzz.
“You can see the intensity in the lads and how they can’t wait to get going and they’re fighting for that starting position come Saturday.”
Onto teams news and Grainger gave us a host of information our own players and a potential new addition.
“Jordan Little’s operation will keep him out for a few months so we’re wishing him all the best for that,” the manager explained.
“We are currently in conversation with a professional team about a loan for a young player and we’re hoping something can be done after the weekend.”
Last weekend against Penrith, Liam Brockbank, Ceiran Casson and Louis Potts missed out, as Robbie Hebson returned following his first day of the season injury.
Meanwhile, Scott Allison is continuing his rehabilitation and the gaffer gave an update on how they all look ahead of the match.
“We’ll hopefully be welcoming a few back,” revealed Grainger.
“Scotty’s one of our most important players, we need to make sure we’ll careful because we don’t want to lose him for another long period.
“Robbie came back last week, got some minutes under his belt and is regaining his confidence.
“Brock and Pottsy were back training this week, Cass will have to be assessed before the game and we’ll be missing one due to personal reasons.”
Kick-off tomorrow at 15:00 and you can follow all the action via the Live Scoreboard and our social media channels.