Barrow v Harrogate Town: Simon Weaver expects more grit will be required

Simon Weaver is anticipating his Harrogate Town players having to grind out another result when they visit struggling Barrow this evening.

By Rhys Howell
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 8:20 am
Harrogate Town beat Barrow 1-0 when the sides met at the EnviroVent Stadium back in October. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town beat Barrow 1-0 when the sides met at the EnviroVent Stadium back in October. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The Sulphurites have pulled 16 points clear of the League Two drop zone courtesy of back-to-back 1-0 home victories which owed more to grit and determination than eyecatching football.

Saturday saw the Wetherby Road club edge out another of the division’s relegation-threatened sides in the shape of Grimsby Town, the Mariners setting up with five at the back in the hope of escaping with a draw.

And with Weaver expecting 23rd-placed Barrow to employ a similar system as they go in search of crucial points in their battle for survival, the Harrogate chief said that it may well be the case that his players have to roll their sleeves up once again.

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Sulphurites chief Simon Weaver.

“It’s a hard game in prospect. It always is on a Tuesday night at Barrow,” he said.

“It’s another big task ahead because they’ve played well in their last few games under Rob Kelly, we know that they’ve set up quite defensively in a 5-3-2 and if they do that again we know that it’ll end up being another gritty game.

“But, we’ve been prepared to roll our sleeves up and we’ll have to do that again.”

Weaver made three changes to his starting XI last time out and admitted he may opt to freshen things up once again at Holker Street.

“If there is wear and tear in bodies or tiredness has set in, we make changes,” he added.

"We need everyone refreshed, ready to play and full of vigour because every game at this level take a lot of energy out of you.

"There's one or two areas, but there'll only be a couple of changes, maximum."

Harrogate head to Cumbria in decent form having won five of their last seven, while by contrast Barrow have lost five out of six.

The Bluebirds are onto their third manager of the campaign having recently shown Michael Jolley the door, with Kelly having stepped up to take charge of first-team affairs until the end of 2020/21.

The previous meeting between the clubs ended in a 1-0 victory for Town on October 17, Jack Muldoon netting the only goal of the game to hand his side maximum points in the first-ever ELF fixture to be played at Wetherby Road.

Weaver's men's last visit to Holker Street saw them come away with a 3-0 success courtesy of Will Smith's brace and a Connor Hall effort.