BRIAN Pritchard has declared his Witton team are ready to repeat last season’s achievement of winning promotion via the play-offs.

Albion returned to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s top tier this term, from Division One North, after three years away.

Following a home win against Rushall Olympic on Saturday that made safe fourth place in the table, their next target is victory at FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night.

“We’re where we want to be,” said Pritchard.

“Now it’s down to the next game, 11 men against as many others, when the best team will win and play in a final.

“That’s the excitement of the play-offs, which we were able to enjoy last year. Having that as a target has kept alive our season until the final week.”

Witton have reason to be optimistic too after taking four points from six on offer in two Premier Division encounters against FC United this term, including a single-goal success at Gigg Lane last month.

Albion also edged the Rebels, who fielded an under-strength side, in the Doodson Sport Cup too.

However Pritchard, in only his second season in sole charge, has dismissed the notion that those results will give the visitors a slender psychological advantage in this week’s semi finals.

He said: “Our record against them means absolutely nothing.

“Don’t forget we’ve been hammered there in a previous meetings, so should we count that?

“This game will be different in terms of atmosphere to those that have gone before it.”

Nor is he dependent on scars from play-offs defeats in each of the past two seasons impacting on FC United’s frame of mind.

The Rebels lost in the final at Bradford Park Avenue last term.

Pritchard said: “It’s irrelevant what’s happened in the past.

“I know from personal experience what it feels like to miss out, because I did as a player in successive seasons. We had twice fallen short in terms of winning the title, so couldn’t pick ourselves up emotionally for the play-offs.

“We’ve finished in the top five because we’ve made winning a habit in the past couple of months.

“The players got us over the line, but now have to be ready for a different challenge in short space of time.”

He will wait until the latest possible moment for full back Anthony Gardner, who only returned from a hamstring injury at the weekend, to prove his fitness after limping off following a knock to his ankle.

Pritchard said: “That was the only negative [on Saturday].

“We’ll just have to see how that goes and whether he has a reaction. If he doesn’t make it, then we’ll just have to readjust.”

Josh Glover is available again following a family break in New Zealand, although striker Jason Oswell has cut short his stay after accepting an offer to play football in Australia.

Winger Josh Hancock is expected to be fit after nursing successfully an ankle injury sustained at Kendal a fortnight ago.