Lancaster City boss Darren Peacock has urged his players not to be phased by the visit of league leaders Warrington Town to Giant Axe on Saturday.
Shaun Reid’s side are five points clear of second in the table Bamber Bridge at the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North with City a further four points back in sixth.
But the head coach knows his side can’t dwell on The Wire’s impressive start.
Peacock said: “I’ve said before that I’m really looking forward to the Christmas period with (fourth-placed) Curzon coming after Warrington.
“But Saturday is just another game and we can’t think too much about the points difference.
“It’s a challenge for both teams.
“At the start of the season Warrington were one of the favourites just because of the players they’d brought in and the amount of money they were spending on wages.
“They’ve got a lot of experience, they’re a tough side but we’ve already proved this season we can stand up to physical sides that are more direct than us and we’ll have to do it again.”
City overcame one of those challenges with a 3-2 victory at Cammell Laird on Saturday, Aaron Taylor returning to the squad with a last-minute winner on the Wirral. Peacock said: “A few times we’ve had sides come at us in the second half and that happened again on Saturday.
“But we defended resolutely and had to scramble a few clear in the penalty area.
“I thought it was a good and deserved win, even if it took us until the last minute to do it.
“We got a bit of luck which maybe we’ve been missing but it was a good performance.”
As well as Taylor’s strike, Jordan Connerton got his first goal back in Dolly Blue as he opened the scoring before setting up City’s second for Simon Wills.
Peacock said: “That’s what you want strikers to do in the main - score goals.
“Aaron’s had work commitments for the last three months so hasn’t played a lot of football.
“It was only Jordan’s second game back too but and you can see that he’s getting back into things.
“He gave us more on Saturday than he did in his first game just because his fitness is improving.
“We’ve got to be careful with him though because we don’t want to push him too soon.”
Ryan Winder will serve the second of three-game ban against Warrington but Mark Jackson is available after suspension.
Captain Neil Marshall remains the only injury absentee for the Dolly Blues and is targeting a New Year’s Day return.
Some fringe first-team players will get match action in the reserve game at Ashton Athletic tonight, Thursday.