ROSS Thorpe wants his players to start being ‘ruthless’ in front of goal ahead of tomorrow’s EVO-STIK Northern Premier League, First Division South fixture at Lincoln United (KO 15:00).

Dale have only managed to hit the net six times in their opening seven fixtures, and Thorpe claims that chances need to start being put away as his side look to move up the table in the coming weeks.

“It’s going to be a difficult game for us,” said the 34-year-old.

“Games like these are more about preparation as opposed to the actual 90 minutes on the field of play. We will meet early doors in the morning, have breakfast collectively before making the journey North.

“If we prepare properly, we take this into the game, the lads are good at the football part and that’s why they are here. Our job as staff is to prepare them fully.”

Tivi travel to The Sunhat Villas & Resorts Stadium without picking up a solitary point in their opening three league away fixtures at Newcastle, Spalding and Market Drayton Town respectively but Thorpe believes it’s only a matter of time before fortune favours his players.

“We always knew it would be a massive challenge at the start of the season just because of the amount of changes made here this summer. The place is completely different now to what it was just four or five months ago on the playing side.

“We are very much a work in progress. I think we’ve shown that we can compete. Two things are letting us down and we know that those ‘little things’ are lapses in concentration and not being ruthless enough in front of goal.

“Danksy (Mark Danks) is a good finisher and he will open his account sooner rather than later. Chris (Sterling) has done well, as have Ayettey and Demetri Brown when they’ve featured.

“We need goals from other areas of the pitch, though. That’s where as a team we need to start looking at everyone, it isn’t down to just the strikers to score goals but we again will focus on improving these areas over the coming weeks and months.”

Thorpe and Phil Male are also set to welcome Jason Chilton, Lewis Wright and captain Craig Milligan back into contention after resting the trio on Tuesday evening for the Integro Doodson Cup penalty shootout defeat to Stafford at The Beeches.