MANAGER PREVIEW: Lancaster City [H]

First-team manager Danny Grainger says our friendly with Lancaster City tomorrow will be a ‘great way to finish off’ pre-season.

Speaking at last night’s training session, the boss spoke ahead of our seventh and final match this summer after firstly touching on Tuesday’s win over Cleator Moor Celtic.

On the 9-0 thrashing, he said: “I was delighted.

“I think the application and desire to put in a performance was fantastic – the attitude the lads show every game is.

“To approach a game like that in the manner they did; they never let off, they were relentless, fit – it’s compliments to them yet again.”

Arguably more pleasing than the performance and result was the fact fans finally came back through the Borough Park gates for the game.

Having played behind closed doors for the majority of our warm-up matches, Grainger acknowledged just how important supporters inside grounds are.

“It was brilliant, that’s what football is,” he stated.

“You need fans for it to feel like a football match so it was great to see them back and in a safe environment as well.”

Moving onto tomorrow, NPL Premier Division side Lancaster City – occasionally a local league game for us – come to town.

Mark Fell’s men were pushing for promotion before the expulsion of both of our campaigns and our manager knows just what the Dolly Blues will bring to Cumbria.

“We can expect a very tough game,” he explained.

“Obviously, their manager’s got them well-drilled, they know what they’re good at.

“They’ll be a real test and represent a great way to sign-off pre-season for us.

“Location-wise, they were one of our closest games when we were in the same division so it’ll a great way to finish off going into the FA Cup.”

Finally, Grainger took stock of how his players have fared this strange summer.

Despite the circumstances, it’s undoubtedly been a productive pre-season and the boss praised his players as the real business nears.

“I couldn’t ask for much more from them to be honest,” he revealed.

“The commitment they show to the club and Ruddy & I is testament to them.

“The only thing we’ve always said is, right the way through, don’t give us an excuse to leave you out.

“That’s all we’ve said to them; if they’ve done everything in their power to stay in the starting line-up for the first game of the competitive season, that’s all we can do.

“It’s down to Ruddy and I to pick the team that we think can get us results and that’s what’s happened so far.

“They roll into Saturday with one last chance.”

Kick-off tomorrow is at 15:00 and tickets are on sale from the club shop until 2pm today.

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