Stability has been the order of the day at Barrow in the three full seasons since Ian Evatt led them back into the Football League – but expectations might just be picking up.

Former Oldham boss Pete Wild led the club to a ninth-placed finish in League Two after taking over last May and has already chalked up an impressive win at Tranmere Rovers this time around.

The Bluebirds had battle to preserve their league status in the previous two years, appointing a string of managers in David Dunn, Rob Kelly, Mark Cooper and Phil Brown.

But they look to have struck gold when convincing Wild to leave Halifax Town last summer and build on an encouraging performance at Bolton in the EFL Trophy last November where Elias Kachunga scored the odd goal in five to record a narrow win.

Barrow got off to a flier last weekend too, Kian Spence scoring a late stunner to silence Prenton Park and give Barrow their first victory at Tranmere since 1968.

“Hitting strikes like that on your EFL debut isn’t bad, is it? It was a great strike; I am really pleased for him. He [Spence] has a bright future ahead of him, so has to keep his feet on the ground and listen to the older players around him,” Wild said of his young midfielder.

Wild has built a young and pacy squad who many feel are dark horses for promotion in a division stacked with bigger names and budgets.

Wild feels the 11 players he has added so far in the summer window have given his squad something they lacked last season.

“We wanted to bring in an athletic bunch, and I certainly think we have done that,” he said. “If you look at our bench today, you will see loads of athleticism, so we could bring on people who are quick and athletic.”

A familiar face in Anthony Backhouse will referee the game, fresh from a postponed fixture between Colchester United and Swindon Town.

He has taken charge of six games involving Wanderers in the past, the last being a 1-0 win against Morecambe last August. His first encounter with the Whites was arguably the most memorable, however, with Backhouse issuing a red card to on-loan defender Josh Earl early in a 7-1 hammering at Accrington Stanley in November 2019.