Workington Reds will be without injured defender Sam Smith for today’s visit of Ramsbottom United - but he will still have a one-game suspension to serve soon, too.

Smith picked up an ankle injury in Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Clitheroe, during which he also received a red card.

And although his suspension does not kick in until the following game, Smith will be absent for this afternoon’s match (3pm kick-off) due to that injury.

Also a doubt for the clash at Borough Park is forward Ash Kelly, who has been battling a sickness bug, while captain Conor Tinnion is still carrying a knock which has limited him to starting on the bench in recent weeks.

But Reds manager Danny Grainger will have a strong squad available as they look to respond with a good performance and result after their midweek defeat at Clitheroe, and he was relaxed about the prospect of shuffling his side once more.

“The boys are fit and strong, they had a good pre-season and we seem to be coping well with an intense start,” he said.

“People who have come in have had games and made an impact, as well. The boys have been fantastic since I came in.”

Former Carlisle United captain Grainger believes his side are coming into a period of the season which he and his coaching staff have identified as being particularly important to their promotion hopes.

And he is keen to avoid dwelling on their loss last time out, which is one of few negatives in what has been a very good start to the season for his team.

“We were probably lucky to get out of there with a 2-0 defeat, but I think we still had a few half-decent chances,” Grainger added.

“Everybody has an off-day and we were unlucky that we probably had 10 or 11 players having one, so I can’t complain with the result.

“We’ll stick together as a team, and one poor performance doesn’t nullify what we’ve done in the first quarter of the season.”