Workington Reds' trip to Runcorn Linnets today (3pm kickoff) will provide an opportunity for fringe players to make a place in the starting lineup their own, with manager Danny Grainger admitting a number of his starting players are injury doubts.

Grainger did not name names but revealed he has several people carrying knocks who will likely miss today's game but should be fit to return for Tuesday night's game against Kendal Town.

However, he reiterated that those who come into the side today as a result of those absences will have a chance to retain the shirt in midweek with a good performance.

"If the boys come in and do well, they keep the shirt for Tuesday night, no matter what happens," he said.

"Even though we've had a balanced team, we've made changes in most games anyway.

"We spoke about it at the start of the season and said 11 players won't win us the league but this squad could."

Despite his side falling behind in a league game for the first time on Tuesday night, the Reds boss felt his team put in their best performance so far.

They resisted the urge to go route one in the latter stages and Grainger praised his players for sticking to the patient style of play which he believes will reap rewards over the course of the season.

He said: "It's easy to say we should throw it in the box and hope that anything will happen but we don't want to just hope.

"We're trying to do something that will put pressure on them consistently.

"The final third at any level, whether it's our league or the Premier League, isn't easy.

"It's something we'll have to be patient with but it'll come."

Tuesday night saw Reds enjoy long spells of possession and play around Colne's box as they sat in and looked to defend what they had.

It is an approach Workington may have to get used to this season after their fast start, with teams perhaps content to try to escape Borough Park with a point as the Lancastrian side did.

But Grainger will hope that away days like today could see teams come at his side more, leaving space to exploit with the quality he has at his disposal.

"That would suit us down to the ground," he said.

"Colne got back into their shape well and obviously they weren't keen on coming out of their defensive third.

"I think if we can nick an early goal, whether it's at home or away, teams will have to come out at us in search of a goal."

Reds remain top of the NPL North West Division and unbeaten in their first five league games.

Runcorn Linnets are 12th with five points from four games.