Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt has challenged the players who possibly won’t start Saturday’s opening game of the season at Wrexham to show him why they should break into the team in the weeks ahead.

Evatt has been more satisfied with what he’s seen from some of his players during pre-season than others with him saying after the friendly at Lancaster last week that some of his players had made his job easier in terms of selection.

The line-up he began last Saturday’s match against Sheffield United under-23s with is expected to be similar to that which is named at the Racecourse Ground and those that did start pressed their case well with an accomplished performance.

However, the same can’t be said for when after AFC replaced those seemingly first-choice players during the second half, as the pace went out of what was the final tune-up before the real action starts.

Evatt said: “I thought we lost intensity in the second half when we made the changes - I don’t think they did when they made their changes.

“It’s a long season, people go in and out of form pretty quickly, but we have quite a big squad now of nearly 20 players and there’s competition for places.

“You can look at it two ways; you can sulk and say ‘hang on a minute, am I going to play?’ or you can really fight and knuckle down and say ‘I want to be in this team.’

“I hope it’s the latter because if not, we’ll move on pretty quickly. It’s important that we keep everybody on board and everyone should be fighting to play in that XI at Wrexham.

“If you’re not in that XI, then I understand you’ll be disappointed, but how are you going to get in it? You’re not going to get in it by sulking, you’re going to get in it by working hard and showing me and the rest of the staff that you’re ready to play.”