Workington Reds boss Danny Grainger is eager to check out his side in competitive action when they take on Carlisle City tonight in their first pre-season friendly of the new campaign.

The clash will be behind closed doors at Gillford Park due to Covid-19 restrictions but Grainger said the key for him was to start to get players up to match fitness, ready for the start of the league season.

And he says he is happy with where his squad is, despite the lockdown hampering proceedings over the last few months.

“I am really looking forward to the game,” said Grainger. “It will be very different and obviously we want our fans at games as much as possible but we can’t right now.

“Our aim has to be getting fit and ready for the first game of the league season and that is our main objective.

“We will go to Carlisle City with two different teams, one for the first half and one for the second and get some game time for the players.”

Grainger said Reds had played out an in-house clash last weekend which gave him a chance to look over the players and assess where they are.

And despite a couple carrying some old injuries, he is confident they are in a good place, especially with the addition of a couple of new faces who will also get a run out tonight.

Hitmen Ruben Jerome and Louis Potts could be key to Reds’ success this coming season and Grainger says they have fitted into the side well.

He added: “I’m looking forward to seeing them in a match but we know what they bring to the squad and team and I fully expect them to do well.

“We are about five or six weeks away from our first league game so we still have plenty of time.

“We are where I want us to be and everyone is looking forward to this game.”

Reds have also added a sixth pre-season game to their schedule with a trip to Gainsborough Trinity now pencilled in for Saturday, August 22 at The Northolme, Lincolnshire. It will again have to be played behind closed doors.