Lancaster City boss bids to build on unbeaten start

Lancaster City striker Tom Kilifin in action against during the draw with Mickleover Sports on Saturday.
Lancaster City striker Tom Kilifin in action against during the draw with Mickleover Sports on Saturday.

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has backed his side to build on their unbeaten start to life in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Two draws this week, 1-1 at home to Mickleover Sports and 0-0 at Farsley Celtic, mean it’s four without defeat to start the season for the First Division North title winners.

The Dolly Blues have come from behind in three of the games with Brown praising his side’s character while backing them to start getting on the front foot in games.

A busy bank holiday weekend brings a trip to Hednesford Town on Saturday before Stalybridge Celtic visit Giant Axe on Monday.

“We’ve got great resolve, work hard and are really organised and if you’ve got that in your locker then you can get something out of games,” Brown said.

“We’ve got a decent group and we’re hard to beat.

“We’ve just picked up a 0-0 draw away from home against a team that have made a better start than us but we finished the stronger.

“We just couldn’t quite capitalise on a couple of opportunities.

“Things just didn’t quite fall for us in the penalty box but I’m sure they will.

“We’d still scored five goals in three games before that which is about par for the course.

“We’ve just got to keep plugging away and not lose focus.

“If we can take the initiative in games and get the first goal then we’ll make things really difficult for sides.

“We’re a work in progress but I’m really happy.”

Brown has used most of his squad in the opening couple of weeks of the season, making four changes from the weekend for the draw at last season’s title rivals Farsley.

He has had his hand forced at times when it comes to changing his side but it has also been part of a wider plan from the Lancaster boss.

“When I looked at the first few games I thought I’d use the squad,” said Brown.

“We were going into the unknown a little, people needed to be fresh and it gave everybody a chance to stake a claim.

“You’ve got pre-season for that to a degree but there’s nothing like playing for three points.

“I’m fairly comfortable with what I’ve done, I’ve not been rotating for rotating’s sake.

“I’ve got this weekend to come and then I’ll look to be bit more consistent and the first 11 or 16 will be more settled.

“That’s depending on injuries and players doing well of course.”

One player Brown will have to do without for the time being is goalkeeper Chris Cheetham who injured himself in the warm-up ahead of the draw with Mickleover.

Josh Powell has come in and impressed between the sticks for the last couple of games.

“When I did my analysis of Mickleover they seemed to send most of their set pieces to the back post,” the City boss said.

“We were sending crosses over for Chris and when he planted his foot his heel hit the post and he rolled his ankle.

“It was quite a nasty one to be fair and we’re looking at four to six weeks.

“Josh came in and had a good debut and I thought he was excellent at Farsley too.

“He didn’t have a lot to do but there were plenty of crosses coming in and he dealt with everything.”

Elsewhere on the injury front Craig Carney, knee, and Louis Mayers, hip, are working their way back into contention.

Simon Wills is also struggling with a tight groin.