COLNE boss Nathan Rooney is looking for ‘nastiness and nous’ from his players as they prepare to kick off their Northern Premier League North West Division campaign at Dunston this afternoon.

The Reds sat out the action on the opening round of fixtures last weekend but having watched his team in pre-season and in the FA Cup defeat to Prescot Cables earlier this month, Rooney knows which areas his players have to focus on.

“First and foremost we need to be nastier and have more nous about us in every game, so we earn the right to play our way,” the Reds boss told the club website.

“The lads are fit, lean and we’ve had players lose weight due to the demands that are being asked of them.

“The standards have gone through the roof from a training and preparation point of view and it's key we translate all the messages and detail into every game.”

Colne’s preparations for the new season have been hampered with injuries to several players – including Harry Cannon-Noren who limped off in the 2-0 defeat to Cables in the preliminary clash.

“That’s now four or five players that are currently unavailable, which means the squad is very depleted at the moment,” added Rooney.

“It’s really frustrating from my behalf, because we’ve put an awful lot of good work into pre-season, but this is just a sticky patch which we have to overcome.

“All the players who are currently sidelined have been amazing around the club and this is the culture we are currently creating.”

With a two-week gap between the cup defeat and kicking off their league campaign, Rooney is looking for his side to bounce back.

“We will now focus on the basics and we’ll look to strengthen up the spine of the team on the training field,” he said. “But we’ve got to have that bouncebackability which is what I expect from everyone working with the team.

“It’s a new-build and everyone needs to be clear on what work will be required to achieve our goals’’

Clitheroe host Colne’s FA Cup conquerors after new boss David Lynch kicked off his league campaign last week with a dramatic last minute 2-1 win at Brighouse. Ramsbottom United, who kicked off with 4-1 win over Widnes, sit out the action.