Lancaster City focusing on job in hand with seven games to go

Dolly Blues boss Phil Brown.  Picture: Tony North
Dolly Blues boss Phil Brown. Picture: Tony North

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has warned his players only they can determine whether they are champions come the end of the season.

Attention has been cast elsewhere at times with Evo-Stik First Division North title rivals Farsley Celtic having games in hand.

But the Yorkshire side’s 4-2 defeat at home to Clitheroe on Tuesday night means the sides are level on 73 points with seven games to play, Farsley top thanks to a superior goal 
difference.

The Dolly Blues bounced back from two defeats with a 1-0 win over Tadcaster Albion on Saturday and next travel to Radcliffe Borough as the promotion shoot-out begins.

“The top of the table is wide open,” said Brown.

“It’s great to see other teams taking points off Farsley and taking points off each other. But it doesn’t matter if we don’t do well ourselves.

“All the focus is on our games and the job in hand.

“If you think about the ifs and maybes you can lose your focus and I think that’s what happened in the defeats against Colwyn Bay and Brighouse.

“How many points we pick up in the final seven games will determine where we finish.

“It’s about what we do.”

It’s the biggest few weeks in the club’s recent history, culminating at Glossop North End on April 22, but Brown believes there’s no nerves in the camp.

“There’s no pressure,” he said.

“I need my winners to lead by example and the lads who maybe haven’t won as much to keep up their focus and desire to go and achieve something.

“I’m really confident the two defeats brought us back down to earth and you saw that on Saturday.

“We’re relishing the run-in now.”

Radcliffe are the next test, and although the Greater Manchester side sit 17th in the table Brown is ready for a tough afternoon after Saturday’s hosts impressed in spells in their 3-1 defeat at Giant Axe back in February.

“Radcliffe are dangerous and unpredictable,” said the City boss.

“They can click and cause you problems at times but they can also make it hard for themselves.

“At Giant Axe they were right in the game at 1-1 and then we got the penalty.

“We can’t underestimate them and they’ll be in good spirits after reaching the LFA final.

“We’re feeling good too though and we’re not looking at one point, we’re going there for three.”

There are injury concerns over key men Craig Carney and Jordan Connerton, both of whom limped off with ankle problems against Tadcaster.

“I don’t think they are too serious,” said Brown.

“They settled down so I don’t think they’re long-term injuries.

“We’ll assess them and I’m not saying they’re going to be right for Saturday but we’re hopeful.

“Jordan is obviously our talisman when it comes to goals but if you look at our performances they’ve been real team efforts.

“We’ve not won because of one player.”