Barrow AFC will be looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat at Wrexham when they welcome Harrogate Town to Holker Street tonight and midfielder John Rooney is calling on a 90-minute performance from his side.

The Bluebirds’ Jekyll and Hyde tendency was repeated in the 2-1 loss at the Racecourse Ground last Saturday, where Wrexham took control in the second half after Ian Evatt’s outfit deservedly went into half-time ahead.

It was a repeat of the pattern of their matches against Harrogate last season, which Rooney was a scorer in both, as AFC also dropped half-time leads on those two occasions.

In the trip to Wetherby Road last October, they simply fell apart in the second half to lose 4-2, while they had to settle for a 2-2 in the return at Holker Street in March after letting a two-goal lead slip.

Rooney said: “I thought at their place, apart from the goals, we didn’t do too badly, but we just gave stupid goals away and that’s something that we need to cut out.

“We let things slip against them in the second half and that was the same again at Wrexham, as we gave them a goal early in the second half and they must have scored three or four times in a ten-minute spell.

“We’ve got to react better and we’ve got to get the ball and go again, rather than fold.”

Harrogate turned out to be one of the surprise packages in the National League last season, as they qualified for the play-offs in what was their first-ever season at that level.

They showed last Saturday that their sixth-place finish may not have been a fluke as they earned a 2-2 draw against big-spending Solihull Moors, who were one of the pre-season promotion favourites.

Rooney said: “They did well last year and they will probably be there or thereabouts again this season because I don’t think they lost many players, but they’re the games we need to be winning.

“They’ll have a big lad leading the line [Mark Beck], but that’s just normal in this league because most teams have a load of big guys playing for them.”

While Barrow will have to be wary of the height in Harrogate’s ranks, one of the positives from the match at Wrexham was them scoring from a set-piece, which was a rarity last season, with captain Josh Granite finally opening his account for the club.

“We’ve been working on it and it was a great ball into the box by Lewis [Hardcastle] and Josh has scored with a good header,” Rooney said.

“That is something that we have looked to improve on because it’s obvious that we do need to score more from set-pieces.”