Workington Reds signing Cole Lonsdale is set to go straight into the squad for his new club’s trip to Colne this afternoon (3pm ko).

The versatile defender, who has agreed a permanent move to Borough Park until the end of the season, will add to manager Danny Grainger’s options at the back following left-back Gari Rowntree’s decision to retire after the Boxing Day game.

Lonsdale counts Clitheroe, Lancaster City and FC United of Manchester among his former clubs, while he was also part of Bolton Wanderers’ under-23s’ title-winning team in 2017.

And the 20-year-old, who primarily operates on the left side, played and scored against Workington earlier this season, firing in the free kick which put Clitheroe 2-0 up in September.

Reds’ assistant manager, Steven Rudd, said: “If you look at the squad since the start of the season, we’ve lost Ash Kelly through injury, Gari Rowntree has retired, Taylor Charters has gone back to Carlisle and Millenic Alli went back to South Shields.

“In terms of recruitment we’re looking to add that competition that we’ve had across the season.

“At the moment most of them know they’re going to be involved in the matchday squad and a couple probably think they are definitely going to be playing.

“I don’t think they’ve been complacent, training has still been good, but we want everyone fighting to be in the squad on a Saturday because competition is healthy.

“We’ve got a couple of irons in the fire.”

Reds have had one of the sturdiest defences in the NPL North West Division so far this campaign, giving up just 19 goals in 20 games with only three teams having conceded less and all of those sides having played fewer games.

The settled back four of Matty Clarke, Dan Wordsworth, Sam Smith and Liam Brockbank, as well as the cover provided by midfielder Ceiran Casson in front of them, has been critical to this, but Lonsdale’s arrival increases the competition to ensure they continue to set those standards.

Despite their impressive goals against column, Reds have been punished for individual mistakes over recent games which have cost them vital points.

But Rudd said the coaching staff will not be tearing up the gameplan which has put them in the enviable position of being top of the table since the opening day victory against Pickering Town.

Patient, possession-based football has been Reds’ method and that is not about to change as they look to maintain and build upon their lead.

“We are not going to change how we play,” Rudd said.

“The lads know that, whether we’re playing on mud, grass or turf.

“It’s got us to the top of the league for a reason.”