LEE Duckworth says 1874 Northwich need to be stronger in the mind if they are to continue challenging for promotion in the club’s first season.

The assistant manager told the Guardian he, along with manager Ian Street, discovered much about their team’s character during a 3-1 defeat at Nelson last time out.

They both expect an improvement when Hanley Town, another newcomer to the North West Counties League with ambition to play at a higher level next year, visit Barton Stadium on Saturday.

“When the chips are down you find out things,” said Duckworth.

“We have to be stronger mentally when we’re losing or if things aren’t going our way. That belief that we can recover should be there.

“It’s important not to dwell on what happened in the previous game, and as a player I always prefer to the next one to come around quickly so I can put things right that went wrong.”

1874 will kick off this weekend placed third in Division One, four points adrift of pace-setting Nelson.

They did not play last Saturday.

Duckworth added: “That was both a good and a bad thing. The lads have had a rest, while Ian and I have had a chance to watch one or two games as well as looking at a couple of players in training.

“Saturday’s game has a bit resting on it, because we need to beat those teams around us in the table. If we can pick up points against the other sides in the top four or five places, that will help.”

Hanley, fourth in the standings, are three points behind Ian Street’s men with a game in hand.

Northwich were victors when the teams met in the League Challenge Cup first round back in October, squeezing through 3-2 after extra time.