RHYS Morgan expects a settling in period from his new-look Ilkley squad as they aim to bounce back from an opening day defeat.

The Stacks Field side travel to Carlisle on Saturday in the North Premier looking to recover after crashing to a 38-7 home defeat to Harrogate last Saturday.

This setback also saw them 26-0 down at the interval. But they showed good character during the second half to contain Harrogate for long period, culminating in Callum Smithson finishing off a well taken team-try, converted by Chuckie Ramsay, for the hosts.

But Morgan says his side will need time to bed in as he looks for a positive result for his young squad.

He said: "We had seven new players in the squad on Saturday.

"It's all good in the fact that we have got these lads in. It will take a little while to bed these lads in and for us to get stronger as the season goes on. We are a young side and we need more experience.

"Against Harrogate, we got off to a pretty unlucky start. We could not quite get through. Everything that could go wrong for us did. We were 20 points down but we won the second half 7-5. That shows the progression.

"If we are winning the second half, we have got to take that positives going into Saturday.

"Carlisle are a tough team to beat. There is stuff to work from last Saturday for us.

"We will have to wait to have a few boys coming back into action later in the season.

"We are going to have to dig in on Saturday. Going to Carlisle is a difficult away trip for us."

Ilkley chairman Mike Halling echoed Morgan's thoughts on their start to the season, adding he wants them to be the best amateur side in the country.

He said: "We have had a number of changes this year. It takes some time to settle down.

"The team last week was a very different team that ended last season.

"There will be a settling down period. We have had some new players and we are continuing to recruit players, so there will be a settling down process.

"We have had players moving from us for work reasons. Max McKay and Pat Power have had a lot on at work which has been preventing them from playing at the moment.

"We are playing Carlisle this week and they have come up this year.

"The teams that are nearly always ending up at the top of North Premier are the teams that are semi-professional. But we are in the top band of amateur clubs in the country. We want to stay at the top of the amateurs."