Lancaster City boss’ selection dilemma ahead of big few days

Aaron Taylor is back at Lancaster City.
Aaron Taylor is back at Lancaster City.

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has something of a selection headache ahead of a big few days in his side’s season.

The Dolly Blues host high-flying Northwich Victoria on Saturday before a mouth-watering derby with Kendal Town at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.

Jacob Gregory is back in training.

Jacob Gregory is back in training.

Having seen his side’s seven-game unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik First Division North end with a 3-1 defeat at Glossop North End on Saturday Brown has plenty to ponder.

Aaron Taylor is back in Dolly Blue after spells with Kendal and Workington while Danny Carlton returned from injury with a goal at Glossop.

Danny Shearwood also impressed off the bench with Jacob Gregory back in training after a hamstring problem.

Brown said: “I’ve got a bit of selection dilemma this week.

“To be honest I might look to freshen things up after the last two games and picking up one point from six.

“One or two might need a bit of a breather and I’ve got 18 to pick from with Jacob Gregory back in training.

“We’ve got 15 league games to go and a semi-final coming up (against Padiham in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy) so the lads want to play as much football as possible because there’s still plenty to play for.

“I always said I wanted to create competition for places but it can be difficult to do that with injuries and players being unavailable.

“But we’ve got that this week and it’s a pleasing headache.”

Northwich, second in the table with five games in hand on leaders Warrington, have seen manager Jim Gannon leave for Stockport County with Adam Lakeland stepping into the breach.

Most observors were shocked to see them lose 5-0 at home to Farsley Celtic on Saturday but Brown is ready for a tough test.

He said: “It’s a big week for us with three games in seven days (a trip to Farsley follows on Saturday, February 13).

“We go from Glossop to hosting Northwich Victoria who are another team who have been up there all season.

“It’s going to be really tough even though they have lost their manager.

“They lost on Saturday but did win his first game in charge.

“They’re still very well organised and won’t have forgotten how to play.”

The derby against Kendal is one that needs no hype for City fans with the number of players moving between the clubs reaching new heights this season.

Brown knows two positive results will help City, 10th in the table, stay in touch with the coveted top five.

The Blues boss said: “On Tuesday I don’t think I need to do a team talk with all the toing and froing there’s been between the teams.

“Derbies are derbies. We’ll have to roll our sleeves up to pick up the three points.

“We need them if we want to stay in and around the play-off places.”

Brown will be looking for an improvement on the defeat to Glossop as he lamented missed chances at the Arthur Goldthorpe Stadium.

He said: “Overall Glossop just handled the conditions better.

“It was difficult to judge both teams based on the football they play because of the wind and the pitch.

“But they handled things better and took their chances where as we didn’t.

“It was always going to be a game where the first goal was vital so it was disappointing we didn’t take our opportunities when they came.”