So far, so good for Blues boss Phil

Phil Brown (photo: Tony North)
Phil Brown (photo: Tony North)
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Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has been impressed with his side’s character after a promising start to life in the NPL Premier Division.

The First Division North champions won 2-1 at Buxton on the opening day before drawing 2-2 with Warrington Town at Giant Axe on Tuesday night.

Both sides are expected to be challenging at the sharp end of the table come the end of the season, with the games giving Brown a good idea of where his side are at.

“I’m fairly pleased with the start without going over the top,” he said.

“We’ve taken two points off fancied teams which is obviously a decent start, especially with the first being an away win.

“The most pleasing thing so far is we’ve continued to show the spirit and resilience that won us the league.

“We were apprehensive for the first 30 minutes again Buxton. It’s understandable. It was the first game of the 
season away from home, having gone up a division.

“We conceded early doors but didn’t go under.

“Then on Tuesday we went 1-0 down after 12 minutes but crucially didn’t concede the second.

“In both games I think we finished the stronger team and that shows real character.”

A hectic schedule 
continues on home soil against Mickleover Sports on Saturday before a trip to face the side they pipped to the title last season, Farsley Celtic, the following Tuesday, 
August 22.

Brown knows that despite seeing plenty of positives 
thus far, his side can’t be 
complacent.

“If we are careless in 
possession or switch off teams are more ruthless and will punish you,” he said.

“I’m not being critical, I’m just being myself and being pragmatic.

“There’s a long way to go, the players know that, and we’re not getting too carried away.”

Louis Mayers has missed the opening two games with a hip problem but is expected to be back in contention at the weekend.

Craig Carney is managing a medial knee ligament issue and is rated as 50-50 for the meeting with Mickleover.

Oliver Wood is unavailable due to a prior commitment.

Ben Hudson and Rob Henry have been the unlucky ones to miss out so far in a deep squad but Brown says everyone will be needed sooner rather than later.

“It’s difficult at this time of year,” he said.

“Pre-season is to prepare lads for the new season but they can come out a bit tired and then they go into the intensity of the new season.

“It can be a time of the season to rotate, whereas 10 games in you might not need to do it.

“It’s a tough slog at the start and while I might change game-plans and formations depending on the opposition I’ve also got to remember I’ve got a 20-man squad champing at the bit.

“But over the next few games I’m going to need them all, it will be all hands on deck.”