Buxton will be a taste of what’s to come in Premier Division says Lancaster City boss

Buxtons Brad Abbott is a former Barnsley youngster who scored nine goals from midfield last season.
Buxtons Brad Abbott is a former Barnsley youngster who scored nine goals from midfield last season.

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown expects Buxton to give his side a flavour of what to expect in the Evo-Stik Premier Division this season.

A trip to Derbyshire on the opening day of the new campaign awaits the Dolly Blues as they step up as First Division North champions.

The Bucks finished seventh in the NPL’s top tier last season and will be looking to get up and running against newly-promoted City at The Silverlands on Saturday.

“They are a decent side who have been at the top end of the division for the last couple of years,” said Brown.

“They are well organised and will play a standardish shape, a flexible 4-4-2.

“I think they will be typical of what we’re going to encounter this year and a good test.

“I just can’t wait for it to come around.”

For players, staff and fans pre-season can begin to drag as the calendar turns to August, all keen for the real stuff to get underway.

Brown is relishing getting stuck into life in the Premier Division after a pre-season programme that saw his side win four and lose three of their seven games.

“You can’t replicate playing for three points,” said the City boss. “You can work on the physical side of things, try and get players’ game faces back on and work on different combinations and formations.

“It’s really good pre-season in getting things together.

“But it’s not long before you’re looking towards the first game.

“Managers are no different to players.”

The friendly campaign finished with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at long-time first Division North rivals Bamber Bridge on Saturday, Brown feeling the schedule took its toll on his side.

“When you look at Saturday it was a poor performance,” Brown said.

“We weren’t at the level we needed to be and weren’t at the races to be honest.

“It was our seventh game in 21 days though because we didn’t start playing until the 15th and finished on the fifth.

“The lads had worked really hard in the sessions in between games too.

“I’m not making excuses but maybe you could understand it because we were flat and out of sorts.

“It would be a worry if it was in season but we’ve had a good pre-season on the whole.”

Having made former Barrow winger Andy Haworth his final signing, the Blues boss now has the task of picking a 16-man squad for the trip to Buxton.

“There’s a couple of niggles but we’ve got pretty much a fully fit squad,” said Brown.

“Everybody is up for selection even if some maybe are a little bit behind physically for a variety of reasons.

“I’d say we’re pretty much ready to go though.”