Workington Reds boss Danny Grainger believes the club is united on and off the pitch ahead of the final pre-season friendly before his first season in charge.

Reds travel to Atherton Collieries tomorrow (3pm kickoff) for their last warm-up fixture before the NPL NW Division gets under way at Borough Park against Pickering Town next weekend.

Grainger, his staff, directors and fans have all done their part to get Reds’ home ground ready for the season to begin, and the new manager believes it is a sign that everyone is on the same page ahead of what they hope will be a promotion campaign.

“As I said when I first came in, I wanted us to have more of a united front and for people to come together,” he said.

“I knew how much hard work went in behind the scenes and I’ve now seen first hand how much people want the club to have a successful season.

“It was something we felt was vitally important, as staff and players, to muck in as much as we could and although our job is on the pitch, if there’s something we can do off it to help out then why wouldn’t we do that?

“I can’t thank everybody enough for what they’ve done for the club; they have all done their bit after what happened with the stadium plans.”

Reds go into this weekend’s friendly game full of confidence and playing with freedom after a 4-1 win at Radcliffe last weekend.

That was the latest in a string of strong performances and results which have left Grainger content with the squad he has at his disposal and feeling they are ready for the campaign to start.

The trip to Atherton was hastily arranged with the help of a friend and Grainger hopes it will be the final step to get his side into shape for the gruelling season.

He said: “It was one I was quite keen to arrange.

“We were keen to get a really competitive game and if there’s an improvement on last weekend’s performance and result I’ll be over the moon.

“They were not far off where I wanted them to be in what was a nigh-on perfect performance.

“We said last week that there were a few players away and not one of the lads who stepped up missed the opportunity to stake a claim.

“If they can back it up this weekend they will be in a strong position to start the opening game.

“The starting XI on the first day isn’t going to be the one that gets us promoted over the course of the season.

“We will need the whole squad at different stages and it’s up to the players who aren’t in the team to respect their team-mates by training hard and pushing them in training.”

The former Carlisle United defender is happy with the group of players he has available, although he said there were “one or two” players who had become available that he was keen to check on.