PAUL Carden says his Warrington Town players must team ability with application if they are to succeed this season.

The opening game of the Pitching In Northern Premier League campaign is less than a fortnight away, with Yellows travelling to Basford United for the kick-off on September 19.

Before then, players have one more chance to impress Carden in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against National League North side AFC Fylde.

After watching his side put in a lacklustre display in defeat to Padiham on Tuesday, the Town boss says some members of his squad are in danger of playing their way out of his plans.

“I’m not one of those who tries to dress things up,” he said.

“If players want to play in a team where only ability counts, that’s not what our team is.

“The fundamentals are work rate, appetite, attitude and enthusiasm and ability is a bonus.

“On Tuesday, we strolled round and strutted about in the first half.

“We thought we could play half-hearted against a team who want to do well and clearly have some good players who want to have a bit more of a career at a higher level.

“When players perform like that, it makes selecting your team easier.

“I don’t drop players – you either play your way into the team or play your way out of it. There’s a few that haven’t done their chances much good.”

Warrington Guardian:

Town were beaten 1-0 by North West Counties League outfit Padiham on Tuesday. Picture by John Hopkins

Town have trialled a three-man defence in their past two pre-season games – at Padiham and Saturday’s 2-0 win over Salford City under 23s – with mixed results.

Carden moved back to his more regular 4-2-3-1 on Tuesday but insists the system incorporating three centre backs has not been abandoned.

“It looked much better on Saturday,” he conceded.

“It’s going to be an option for us and there will be times where we have to use it. Our foundations since I’ve been here has been a solid defence.

“It doesn’t matter about the formation though if you haven’t got the application to match your opponents.”