Workington Reds boss Danny Grainger hailed the “unbelievable” fight from left-back Liam Brockbank to regain his place in the side with statement performances and a string of assists.

The young defender has been one of Reds’ standout players since he signed after leaving Carlisle United’s youth setup last summer and impressed enough to earn a new contract in December which will run until the end of next season.

But as his levels dropped off and he began to show signs of fatigue, Grainger took Brockbank out of his starting line-up for a period at the start of this year.

Now he has come roaring back into the manager’s thoughts and underlined why he deserves to stay there by laying on goal after goal in Reds’ recent victories to return to the top of the NPL North West Division.

“Liam Brockbank was probably one of the most disappointed players I’ve seen at being left out of a team and the way he’s come back into this team shows what he is,” Grainger said.

“I think he’s got four or five assists in the last two or three games and his attitude for a youngster is absolutely different class.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him and Cass [Ceiran Casson]; all season they have been unbelievable.

“The way he had gone out of the team, he just looked a little bit tired and didn’t look like the Brock that was there at the start of the season, but the last three or four games he’s been unbelievable.”

Reds blew Cumbrian rivals Kendal Town away on Saturday, with Brockbank running riot down the left flank in a 6-0 win, and although he conceded that his side got the rub of the green with some of their goals, Grainger felt it was about time his league-leading team had some good fortune.

“I think we’ve earned that bit of luck,” he said. “At times this season we’ve been punished when we haven’t really given up many opportunities but we’ve been punished for the one or two that we have.

“We did need a little bit more luck and you saw that, with the free-kick for Brad Carroll’s second goal for example.

“But take luck out of it and I still think we were very dominant during the game.”

Carroll was another who flourished in the win at the weekend and Grainger could not say enough good things about his vice-captain after he crowned his display with his first hat-trick.

Grainger added: “I think a lot of him and I think with him missing the first part of the season, he was getting frustrated with himself that he wasn’t playing the way he is now.

“Now we’re seeing Brad at his best and he’s really starting to influence every game playing that way. He’s exactly what you want in the dressing room.”