New Lancaster City boss Brown admits to tough start

Mike Hale, centre, signs his Lancaster City contract flanked by club secreatary Ray Coote, left, and vice-chairman Mark Knight, right.
Mike Hale, centre, signs his Lancaster City contract flanked by club secreatary Ray Coote, left, and vice-chairman Mark Knight, right.

Phil Brown admits his first 10 days as Lancaster City boss have been tough going.

The new Blues manager is yet to celebrate a victory after three difficult away games at Northwich Victoria, Brighouse Town and Trafford.

The hectic schedule also means the head of football at Myerscough College has had little time to get to know his players.

Brown said: “It’s been busy, busy, busy.

“I’m still trying to get acclimatised. It’s been difficult to work on anything because we’ve just been playing games.

“I’ve just been picking teams and giving team talks rather than discussing ideas and getting to know the players.

“It’s been hard work.”

City exited the FA Trophy with 4-0 defeat at Northwich Victoria before drawing 2-2 at Brighouse Town on Saturday and losing 2-1 at Trafford on Tuesday night.

Brown said: “We’ve had three fairly tough away games.

“Northwich Victoria are top of the table, Brighouse is quite an intimidating place to go and it was an excellent point and we deserved something after our second half showing at Trafford.

“I’m reasonably happy. I’m obviously not ecstatic with the results but there’s positives to take and plenty to work on.”

The major piece of business at the club since Brown’s arrival has seen goalkeeper Mike Hale put pen to paper on a contract at Giant Axe.

Kendal Town are understood to have been interested in a player named as the best goalkeeper in the Evo-Stik First Division North last season but the City stopper has pledged his future to the Blues.

Brown said: “It’s like a new signing for me.

“Just as I arrived it looked like the best ‘keeper in the league might be leaving.

“It was priority number one and it’s a great bit of business for the club.”

Brown has brought in some new faces with forward Zach Clark returning to Giant Axe from Kendal and Squires Gate youngsters Barney Morris and Elliot Dickson being named on the bench against Trafford.

Manchester-based Shaquille Antoine-Clarke has however joined a club closer to home in Droylsden despite an improved offer from the club.

The City boss said: “There’s a lot of recruitment going on.

“We haven’t got many through the door but there’s a lot of phone calls being made.

“I’m looking at some players from the same standard, some from slightly higher and some from under 21s at pro clubs.

“There’s plenty of irons in the fire.”

Brown will take charge of his first Giant Axe game since returning to the club when Ossett Town visit the city on Saturday.

He said; “I don’t feel under pressure, neither do the players.

“But getting that win under our belts would be a monkey off our backs.”