Jim Nichols today expects Carlisle City to get a tough introduction to life in a new league.

After they were laterally moved from Hallmark Security League First Division North this summer, the Sky Blues will be in Northern League, Division Two for their 2019/20 season, this afternoon starting at home to Chester-le-Street (3pm kick-off).

The Cestrians finished fifth in Northern League, Division Two last term and City will play host to them at Gillford Park, before a trip to face West Allotment Celtic on Wednesday, with Celtic having ended up in sixth last season.

Nichols said: "We know the difficulty of the league. I have, obviously, been in Northern League, Division One with Penrith.

"We know the quality of the league and we know we have a tough start. We have some of the teams who finished higher up the table in our first four or five games.

"We know it’s a tricky start, and our aim is to try to get as many points on the board as we can.

"But we know it’s going to be difficult. But I feel, with the squad we have got, that we can give anyone a game on their day."

Ex-Carlisle United and Workington Reds man Dan Kirkup, Ryan Potts - the brother of Preston midfielder Brad - and Shaun Vipond, also once of Carlisle and Workington, are among City’s summer signings.

"We have made a lot of quality additions and I’m really pleased with where we are," Nichols added.