MANAGER Karl Gormley admits promoted Worcester Raiders will spend the opening two months of the season “just trying to survive” until they return to Claines Lane.

A 100-seater stand and floodlights are set to be installed at Raiders’ home ground while a further grass pitch is due to be replaced by a floodlit artificial surface.

Worcestershire Football Association will be moving its headquarters to the site and aims to be “operational for football by the end of September”.

The work means Raiders will face the first two months on the road as they begin their West Midlands League Premier Division campaign with a trip to Dudley Town on Saturday (3pm).

Gormley said playing away from home would make life “really hard” and might also impact the club financially.

But he insisted his players were up for the challenge.

“It has been a difficult pre-season and we are going to have to play away from home for the first two months which is going to be really hard,” Gormley said.

“But we are ready for it and will make no excuses.

“We are just looking forward to getting back to Claines to be honest. We were told that it would be finished by the end of September and we have not been told anything different to that.

“We are just hoping that it will be done by then. Financially it will be really difficult as well as there will be no money coming into the club whilst not having a home base. We are just trying to survive until we get back home.”

Raiders’ preparations for the new season suffered a blow when defender Logan Stoddart sustained a double leg fracture at Bishop’s Cleeve, which resulted in the friendly being called off.

But the city side have strengthened their squad this summer with the signings of midfielders Kirk Layton and Chris Bright and defenders Tim Beattie and Aaron Drake. Gormley also hopes Raiders can pick up from where they left off last season after winning the Division One title with 24 wins, seven draws and one loss.

“Last year was brilliant and we just want to follow on from that,” Gormley said.

“We have lost a few players and brought a few in.

“But we are happy with the squad going into the new season.

“We have got 22 players which is more than we started with last season but we have got a few extra games so we are going to need them.”

On facing Dudley, Gormley added: “The Sikh Hunters manager has recently moved over there and taken a few of their players.

“We had some good battles against them so we are expecting exactly the same against Dudley.”