MARCUS Bignot has challenged his squad players to battle for places in Guiseley's first team following an encouraging start to the season for his side.

The Lions have roared up into the top six after a mixed Bank Holiday weekend, where a 4-2 defeat to Alfreton Town at Nethermoor on Saturday was followed by a 4-1 victory at bottom-placed Blyth Spartans on Monday in Vanarama National League North.

Guiseley now have a home league double header as they entertain 12th-placed Curzon Ashton on Saturday (3pm kick-off) followed by the visit of leaders York City on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Guiseley are fifth on 13 points after four wins from their opening seven league games.

Bignot said his side quickly bounced back from their loss to Alfreton, showing their strength of character.

He said: "I was disappointed with Saturday, we were short physically. But we learned the lesson very quickly. Saturday into Monday was a quick turnaround, much needed for us.

"We have now got to our first block of seven games, it's looking healthy for us.

"We are young, there is a lot of athleticism and power in the team. We get across the pitch quickly, we impose ourselves and are difficult to play against. We've got to maintain that. In five out of seven games so far we have got to our physical maximum.

"Curzon Ashton have had a good start to the season, they are a footballing team. We have a derby on the Tuesday night too.

"We've had a little break after Monday, but we are back to Saturday-Tuesday now.

"It's a case of the squad settling down now. Moving forward, we want to create that competition for places now. In the next block of games I want to look at the squad competing against, and pushing each other. Players who have been on the been on the bench need to force their way into the starting 11.

"We have a clear vision in terms of recruiting players. We want to bring in young players and want to develop them."

Meanwhile, Bignot added he was disappointed to see Bury's membership of the EFL withdrawn earlier this week.

The League One club went out of business after 134 years on Tuesday night.

The former Queens Park Rangers defender said: "It's disappointing, but it's the reality now.

"Sadly I think that it's going to be a common theme now. There is a good pyramid system here in England. I don't want to see it happen again, but sadly I think it will.

"Football is the only business in the world that isn't run like any other business. Anybody who owns a football club knows that they won't see that money again. You've got to live within your means."