A tough start for Brown

Phil Brown

Phil Brown

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Phil Brown admits his first couple of weeks as Lancaster City boss have been tough going.

The new Dolly 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.”

During his first two weeks in charge City have exited the FA Trophy with a 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 near the 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 are 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 NPL 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.

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

He said; “Getting that win under our belts would be a monkey off our backs.”

Elsewhere in the division, Burscough host New Mills and Clitheroe entertain Trafford. Kendal are at home to Warrington Town.