Lancashire’s Glen Chapple knows that people expect his side to compete for the County Championship title this season following a strong season last term, according to the Manchester Evening News.

They were the surprise package last season as they finished in second place behind runaway leaders Essex in Division One.

They start their season this week against Nottinghamshire on Friday at Old Trafford and know that they are going into the season as one of the favourites.

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There have been some significant changes from the side that finished second last season as the overseas duo Ryan McLaren and Kyle Jarvis haven’t signed back on, while the club has signed former Durham pair Keaton Jennings and Graham Onions.

They have also signed promising overseas player Joe Mennie from Australia, which has meant many people think it could their year having not won it since 2011.

The head coach feels that his side have every chance of lifting the title this year:

You get a surprise package every year. We wouldn’t be a surprise package.

People would expect us to be there or thereabouts.

We believe in this squad and I know they are ambitious and hungry for success. It has a good blend of youth and experience.

But I wouldn’t rule out any side judging by what has happened in Division One in recent years, so we just have to focus on our own game and get off to a good start.

Chapple has a selection dilemma in terms of his battling lineup as all of his batsmen have been in top form, but it is a nice problem for him to have heading into the season.