BRIAN Pritchard, the Witton manager, has warned his players to have no regrets as they prepare for a fight to remain in the play-offs places.

They host leaders North Ferriby United tomorrow, Saturday, seeking to end a run of four league matches without a win, their longest sequence to date this season without maximum points.

“The players have underperformed in that time but they know that,” said the Albion boss.

“They’ve not hit the heights they are capable of for a little while now, and I need to put my finger on why that’s happened.

“Just because we don’t talk about it doesn’t mean we don’t consider ourselves to be contenders for a top five finish.

“We do want that, it’s what we’re aiming for.

“The players have 17 more games to it right; I want them to think carefully about how they’re going to feel lying on a beach this summer if they don’t take the opportunity they have.”

A 3-0 defeat at Marine last weekend, which followed a run of three successive draws, leaves Witton looking over their shoulders ahead of the Villagers’ arrival.

They still occupy a play-offs position, currently fifth, though.

Pritchard said: “There’s a five-point gap to Marine [in third place] now. I’m not too worried about that, because if we win our games in hand then we’ll overtake them.

“We didn’t deserve to lose so heavily there; if someone sees that result, then they’ll assume we’ve not had a good go, which I think we did eventually after a slow start.

“Marine were clinical, and scored at crucial times, but with a better final ball we could have changed the course of the game.”

His main selection dilemma this weekend is whether to call again on goalkeeper Stuart Plant should first choice custodian Matt Cooper not be ready to return after injury.

Plant, 21, made his first team debut seven days ago.

“It was a massive jump for him as he’s only this season started playing regularly in the North West Counties League,” said Pritchard.

“He’s a young lad who I have complete confidence in.

“I’m sure he went away last Saturday with his head down, but he has nothing to be ashamed of because he did well.

“It’s a steep learning curve for him and he’s not the finished product, but is keen to improve which I like.”

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