Workington Reds travel to Lancashire tonight, looking to move nine points clear at the top of the NPL North West Division table.

Reds are set to take on 11th-placed Clitheroe (7.45pm ko), who are still searching for their first home win this season and have one of the worst defensive records in the league so far.

Meanwhile, Reds are six points clear at the top-of-the-table after nine games, although they have played three games more than the trio of sides closest to them.

But Workington manager Danny Grainger will not be taking anything for granted and, as always, shifted the focus on to what his team can do ahead of the trip to Lancashire.

He said: “Clitheroe are a good team when they get going and we’ll need to make sure that we’re on our game to get points on the road.

“As we keep saying to the lads, as long as we keep winning at home and picking up points on the road, we’ll be there or thereabouts.

“The boys are putting in the performances that warrant us getting results.

“I’m running out of praise for them because they’ve been so good since I came in; their attitude, their work rate, everything like that.

“They’re good players as well and they are showing that out there.

“If we can just keep building and chipping away, then we can build something special here this season.”

Grainger is again expected to rotate his side to keep the starting line-up fresh in another midweek test of his squad’s depth and believes his team’s style of play means that approach will be necessary over the course of the season.

“It’s great when you can run with 11 fit players and you know that you’re going to get the same out of them every week but the way we play and the intensity that we play at, I think it’s hard to expect lads to be able to do it week in, week out, every two or three days,” he said.

“We need to make sure that we’re fresh, we need to make sure that we can get about the pitch and put pressure onto teams.”

The Reds boss, who has enjoyed a strong start to his first season in management after retiring as a player from professional football in May, is hoping to have a fully-fit squad available for the trip.

Grainger was full of praise for a “professional” performance from his players as they found a way to win against a resilient Widnes side to continue their unbeaten run at home on Saturday.

Again Reds had to deal with a team who were clearly up for taking the scalp of the leaders on their own turf but they handled the pressure and came away 2-0 winners with a goal in each half.

Grainger admitted his team were given a good game by Widnes but was delighted with the way they overcame the challenge.

“We’re never going to get it our own way every game,” he said.

“I thought the boys were professional and they did their job.”

Temperatures were high at Borough Park and Widnes did their best to turn up the heat on their hosts by turning the midfield contest into a battle but Grainger’s side did not lose their heads and looked the fitter, sharper side at the end of the game which the boss put down to his fitness coach, Lee Fearn.

He praised the impact of stand-in skipper Brad Carroll, who scored the opener, and usual captain Conor Tinnion, who was introduced in the second half and forced the second goal with his tricky delivery from a corner.

“I’ve said that to Brad before that he needs to start making gambles into the box and something will break for him,” Grainger said.

“He’s starting to catch up now and it really showed.

“I felt we were just starting to get a little bit overrun in the middle and if we could get Tinners on he’d get hold of the ball.”