NORTHWICH Victoria’s improvement in defence is the reason they’ve enjoyed their best week of the campaign so far, according to manager Adam Lakeland.

Vics have taken seven points from the past nine on offer, including a first win of the season against Stocksbridge last Saturday.

They followed that with a 3-1 victory at home to Kidsgrove in midweek when Jamie Hinchliffe and Yaw Gyimah, twice, were on target.

“We’ve been superb at the back and that’s given us a platform to win matches,” said Lakeland.

“Being able to name the same four defenders ahead of [goalkeeper] Mason [Springthorpe] has made a difference, and the lads further forward are working hard to protect them.

“Collectively we’ve been better without the ball, and that’s helped put us on a bit of run.”

Vics have risen to 13th, and will target a third successive win when they travel to back-markers Rugby on Saturday.

They appointed Gary Moran as manager this week following a spell as caretaker.

Lakeland added: “We expect a test.

“But we know that stringing together a run of results can help you climb the table quickly, so we go there full of confidence and with ambition to keep it going.”