Lee Andrews believes that Workington Reds midfielder Niall Cowperthwaite has been key to their recent upturn in fortunes.

The Reds boss praised Cowperthwaite for his hard work and fitness levels, saying he has been instrumental in their last two victories.

And as they continue to try and claw their way out of relegation danger in the Northern Premier League, his partnership with Brad Carroll will be crucial to their fate.

“I think much of it is down to his fitness, which has been great throughout the season,” said Andrews.

“But the last three or four games he has just been brilliant.

“It has been down to confidence with a lot of the players this season and when Niall first came he was chopping and changing positions.

“But now he has a good run in the centre of midfield and with Brad Carroll coming in as well, they have former a great partnership.

“They really complement each other’s games and have got us going forward.

“We now know that if we are in a battle in the middle of the park we have a chance of winning the game.

“In the last few games they have got us going forward and picked up a lot of second balls so long may it last.”

Reds are now seven points from safety but they still have at least three games in hand on the majority of their rivals.

But Andrews is well aware there is still a long way to go and a big fight still to come.

However, victories over Bamber Bridge at home and now at Grantham have done wonders for the confidence of the squad.

They head into another must-win fixture on Saturday when they take on bottom of the table North Ferriby United, again on the road.

Ferriby have only two wins so far this season but Andrews will not be taking the clash lightly as it is another game they have targeted to pick up some crucial points

And the club has seen three of their outstanding fixtures rearranged by the league with Witton Albion now visiting Borough Park on Tuesday, February 19, ko 7.45pm.

Reds will travel to Farsley Celtic on March 5 before welcoming Mickleover Sports to Borough Park on April 2.