Lancaster City boss challenges struggling side to stand up and be counted

Lancaster City will again be without Ricky Mercer and Glenn Steel this weekend.
Lancaster City will again be without Ricky Mercer and Glenn Steel this weekend.
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Lancaster City boss Phil Brown says his side need to stand up and be counted to end their poor run of form.

The 3-0 defeat at Rushall Olympic on Tuesday night means the Dolly Blues have lost four of their last five games in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Third in the table Grantham Town are next up at Giant Axe on Saturday.

“We need to roll our sleeves up,” said Brown, whose side are 12th.

“Every team goes through a period like this, some just last longer than others.

“It’s two wins in nine with a couple of draws in there.

“The players need to stand up and be counted.

“We have got some players in key positions unavailable, I’ve only got two fit defenders, but I’m not making excuses.

“Quite a lot of teams are drawing games and getting beaten and we’re only nine points off fifth and 14 points clear of bottom of the table.

“But we need to put better performances in and put some points on the board.”

The City boss wants his side to show more character and belief, easier said than done when results haven’t been good enough.

“We need to continue to work hard and show more character in difficult situations,” Brown said.

“We are grafting but we need to show a bit more mentally.

“We need more belief in our capabilities.

“We need to show character in pressure situations in defence and attack and be more composed.

“We’ve been a little bit weak upstairs.”

Brown’s cause wasn’t helped by two defenders limping off at Rushall, Steve Williams having a recurrence of calf problem and Ben Hudson getting a bang on the knee.

Captain Ricky Mercer also completes his three-game ban on Saturday while Glenn Steel is again unavailable.

“I’m trying to call in a few favours and I’m making a few calls to get players in,” said the Blues manager.

“It’s difficult though putting a player who hasn’t played at this level into a sticky situation.

“We need help at the back. I’m relatively happy with my midfield and attacking options.

“We could maybe do with a bit of help up top because we’re losing Tom Kilifin quite a lot due to work commitments.

“I’m talking to semi-pro and pro clubs but things will look a bit rosier with Ricky and Glenn back next Tuesday.”

Fleetwood Town loanee Mamadou Djabi has had his Giant Axe stay extended until the end of the season and is likely to lead the line when high-flying Grantham pose the next test for Lancaster.

“They play a direct style and are very mobile,” said Brown.

“They ran Chorley all the way in the FA Trophy and are up there for a reason.

“It’s going to be a really tough game and we’ll need plenty of energy and character to get something.

“I never write us off, we just need to show a bit more mentally.”