Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt hopes facing another of the National League’s pace-setters will bring an improvement in performance when they face Wrexham tonight.

The Bluebirds have never looked overawed when facing teams near the top of the table this season, claiming victories against Solihull Moors and Salford City and performing well in draws against AFC Fylde and Wrexham themselves.

They also gave a good account of themselves in last Tuesday’s 3-2 home defeat against Leyton Orient, who became the new league leaders last Saturday after defeating the Dragons.

On the same day, Barrow huffed and puffed against third-from-bottom Aldershot Town before John Rooney’s last-minute penalty snatched a 2-1 win at Holker Street and spared a few blushes.

Evatt said: “It’s going to be difficult, it’s a tough place to go. It’s a lovely big pitch, though, which will suit us and against the top six I think our results have been pretty good and our performances have been pretty good.

“Hopefully we can go over there and really show what we can do – Saturday was disappointing, but we won.

“It’s not a bad habit to get into and we’ll dust ourselves down, see who’s okay and see who’s recovered well enough to play and fight for the three points on Tuesday night.”

While slightly fortuitous, the win against the Shots lifted AFC back into the top half and kept Evatt’s aim of a top-ten finish on track, with a late play-off push just a distant dream now.

But he knows that a repeat of last weekend’s display would mean a long night at the Racecourse Ground.

Evatt said: “Obviously, the better you perform and the more consistently you perform, the more chance you’ve got of getting the right results.

“If we play like that on Tuesday night, we’ll get battered, it’s as simple as that, so we have to be better.

“We have to realise that we’ve still got a lot to play for - we’re not on our holidays yet – we’ve got nine games to go and I’ve set the players a target of a top-ten finish.

“That’s the minimum, if they don’t achieve that then they’ve under-achieved this season.”

Evatt also revealed that midfielder Lewis Hardcastle’s loan from Blackburn Rovers will be extended and that the club will look to make his move permanent in the summer.