Guiseley v FC United of Manchester – Lewis Walters can add new dimension for Lions

Lewis Walters.
Lewis Walters.
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MARCUS BIGNOT has hailed the timely arrival of new Guiseley signing Lewis Walters – and believes he will add an extra dimension to the Lions’ attack.

The former Leeds United player made a positive impression on his debut in last weekend’s fine 1-0 victory at Alfreton – and is set for his home debut in tomorrow’s National League North game with Roses rivals FC United of Manchester.

On the impact made by Walters, 23, released by Nottingham Forest in the summer and who had an unsuccessful trial at Carlisle United, joint-manager Bignot said: “Lewis fitted the player profile in terms of what we needed and the system we used at Alfreton.

“Hopefully, he can give us something a little bit different from what we have got. If we do that, he will complement the squad and give value and competition.

“We have given Lewis an opportunity and we will see where it goes from here. He has done himself no harm in terms of his performance – and the team’s – last Saturday.

“He can be pleased with his first start as he has not had a lot of minutes so far this season. It is one where we are looking to see him get better and fitter and stronger as he goes.

Marcus Bignot. Picture: Steve Riding.

Marcus Bignot. Picture: Steve Riding.

“We always keep our ear to the ground in terms of players. At this moment in time, we are still addressing the liabilities from last year and there is still a job to be done off the pitch and we are always very mindful of playing recruitment being limited in terms of what we can do.”

The move for Walters was precipitated by the unavailability of a number of forwards who are again likely to be missing this weekend.

Bignot admits that it is currently a ‘challenging time’ for the squad, with the Lions’ seven-match unbeaten run being all-the-more laudable in the circumstances.

He added: “At the moment, competition is light. We are really thin in terms of our attacking options in the squad.

Hopefully, he can give us something a little bit different from what we have got. If we do that, he will complement the squad and give value and competition.

Marcus Bignot

“Kayode Odejayi was not available, along with Kaine Felix, Reece Thompson and Curtis Morrison. There’s four very good players.

“Losing those amount of good options meant it (Walters) was something we had to move on – and move quickly on.

“I don’t see any of those players returning on Saturday and we also have one or two walking wounded from Saturday’s game as well who were unable to train on Tuesday. It is a challenging time for us and as a squad.”

After last weekend’s superb win at Alfreton, mid-table Guiseley have been challenged with backing it up tomorrow, as they seek to register successive league victories for the first time this term – not that Bignot believes that it will be easy.

“I watched them (FC United) against Bradford Park Avenue the other week and they are three games unbeaten and have picked up some form,” he said.

“They are a good footballing team who are very well supported. And in this league, positions can change quickly. You could be 12th at the end of January and still be in a position to get promoted or relegated.

“We don’t take our current position into account, but Saturday is an opportunity to get back-to-back wins and we have not done that yet. It is a challenge for the group to do it in front of our home crowd, which gives us that extra incentive.”

Elsewhere, third-placed Bradford Park Avenue welcome Altrincham tomorrow.

National League leaders Harrogate Town, ten matches without defeat after a fairytale start to the season in their maiden campaign at this level, visit Maidstone United tomorrow.

Fifth-placed FC Halifax Town also face a long trip south to Maidenhead United.