Harrogate Town v Barrow: Simon Weaver awaits a tougher test Yorkshire News

The Bluebirds were promoted from the National League alongside Harrogate in 2019/20, but found life in League Two much more difficult.

While Town briefly flirted with the play-offs and never seemed to be in serious danger of being dragged into a relegation battle during his Football League debut campaign, Barrow didn’t cope as well.

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They were embroiled in a survival fight and finished 2020/21 in 21st position, just five points above the drop zone.

Harrogate Town Manager, Simon Weaver. Image: Gerard Binks Photography

But with new manager Mark Cooper, the Cumbrians have grown significantly stronger and have had a brilliant start to the season, winning two and drawing one of their first four competitive starts.

“I totally agree that Barrow is stronger now than he was the last time we played them,” said Weaver, who engineered 1-0 home and road wins over the Bluebirds last season.

“I went on Tuesday night to see them against Exeter and I was impressed. It ended a draw, but Barrow probably did enough to win it.

“They have more power and aggressiveness. They are aggressive in both areas, a threat on set pieces, but they can also play soccer.

“Mark Cooper is someone I know well. He is a very experienced coach at this level and understands exactly what it takes to build a good League Two team.

“Saturday will be very difficult, but there is a great appetite for the game among our guys and we will be really prepared.” This weekend’s match brings Town back into action after a fortnight of inactivity due to a Covid-19 outbreak on Wetherby Road. Five members of Weaver’s squad contracted the virus, but the Harrogate boss has confirmed that he expects at least one or two of that number to confront Barrow, possibly even early on.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-20 21:35:18

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