CARL Macauley believes Witton Albion’s players are emotionally ready to be promoted as champions.

They started a potentially defining week by beating Carlton on Tuesday, and will rise to the top of the table for the first time since September if they can see off Spalding United tonight, Thursday.

A visit to Gresley follows at the weekend before a trip to Shaw Lane – their rivals for the Northern Premier League Division One South title.

“We knew this period would be the hardest,” said Macauley.

“We’re trying to get through it, but it’s really difficult for anybody to win four successive matches in seven days.

“It’s wrong that we even have to try to, but we’ve run out of spare dates to fit everything in.

“Everybody is fighting, because they know what it would mean to the club if we can go up.

“And these lads will keep going, they’ll keep plugging away.

“I’m going to need to rely on every one of them at some stage, and it doesn’t matter if they start or if they play 60 seconds at the end of a game.”

Witton kick off tonight’s meeting with the Tulips a point adrift of Shaw Lane with a game in hand.

The Ducks’ superior goal difference mean only a fourth successive home victory will be enough to occupy first place at full time.

Macauley added: “It’s not about playing well at this stage.

“What matters is we take three points from every game.

“We’ve attempted to build a squad that is strong enough to cope with the demands on it.

“Composure is important; we fell behind against Chasetown [last Saturday], but we didn’t panic.

“We stumbled in the first half on Tuesday, but we didn’t get frustrated.”

Albion have put behind them a blip of losing unexpectedly at home to Rugby by despatching AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Chasetown and then Carlton in the next three games at Wincham Park.

A win against the Tulips, who they squeezed past thanks to Brad Bauress’ winner last month, would by their sixth in succession.

Spalding currently occupy third place in the standings, 18 points adrift of Albion.

They have been beaten in three of their past five away games, although the wins in that run have been at fellow play-offs hopefuls Rushden and Leek.