Lancaster boss Brown: It’s hard not to look towards the play-offs

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown and his assistant Dave McCann.
Lancaster City boss Phil Brown and his assistant Dave McCann.

Phil Brown admits his Lancaster City side can’t help having one eye on a play-off push.

The Blues boss was keen not to set any major targets when he returned to Giant Axe in October but three straight Evo-Stik First Division North wins have moved City up to 10th ahead of the trip to Ossett Albion on Saturday.

Brown said: “Of course there’s a temptation to look towards the top five.

“Especially in this league because everybody can beat everybody.

“Northwich and Warrington are the standout teams in this league but there are three places up for grabs for me.

“You look at it now and you might be eight or 10 points off that but there are games in hand and that can be turned around very, very quickly. 
“I’m not saying we’re going to turn it around. I hope we do and that’s going to be an aim.

“Without saying we’re going to get in the play-offs of course we’ve got an ambition to get up there.”

Despite his side’s fine form, the latest win a 1-0 triumph over Harrogate Railway Athletic on Saturday, Brown insists his developing Blues are still very much a work in progress.

He said: “The players are buoyant as the staff are but we’ve just got to keep going.

“We’re looking to build momentum and looking to get up the league table.

“The team is learning and growing every game I think. We are a young group in terms in togetherness and age.”

The win over Harrogate was hard fought with City volunteers doing well just to get the game one as heavy rain once again threatened.

Brown said: “I thought they came with a gameplan which was to sit everybody in and break on us.

“That made it extremely difficult on a surface that didn’t allow you to move the ball quickly but we stuck at it and the lads kept going.

“We tweaked things, changed shapes, moved people around and the break came in the form of a set piece.

“I thought it was an excellent delivery by Ryan Winder and Tommy Kilifin, who’d had a fairly quiet game, produced an excellent finish with a fine flick.

“I’ll take 1-0 every time if it’s got to be 1-0.”

One thing Brown noted on Saturday was the vocal support from the terraces which he believes can help fire his side up the table.

He said: “Crowds like the one we had down on Saturday will help us get up the table.

“The first thing the players said to me after the game was that it was a really good atmosphere to play in.

“If we can get more people down here and build a bit of a fortress mentality and pick up home wins and away points then who knows, let’s see where we are in a few weeks.”

After the trip to Ossett Albion, City host Burscough at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.