CARL Macauley has warned that he has no favourites at Witton Albion after first-team captain Anthony Brown departed on loan.

The defender will spend the next month with City of Liverpool, from the North West Counties League’s top-flight, after failing to break back into the side following an injury lay-off.

Albion are unbeaten in the Northern Premier League since Boxing Day, and the manager has rewarded Michael Wilson and new recruit River Humphreys for their form at the heart of the backline by keeping the pair in the starting line-up.

“Anthony is frustrated and it’s eating away at him that he’s not played,” said Macauley.

“He’s desperate to be out on the field again, and that’s how I want him to feel.

“It’s no good if people are guaranteed a place in the side, and I’ll stick with the guys that have done a great job for us during the run that we’re on.

“I’d have preferred him to stay, but I also understand that he’ll feel better for playing matches.

“It doesn’t change how I feel about him; he’s an important player for us, and remains very much in my plans for the future.”

Brown damaged a knee during an Integro League Cup tie at Nantwich in November, and watched from the sidelines for the next two months.

The 27-year-old has made a single Premier Division appearance as a substitute since returning to training – for half an hour in a 3-2 win at Matlock.

Anthony Gardner and Paul Williams have found themselves in a similar position since recovering from ankle and knee injuries respectively.

Macauley said: “These were players we relied upon at the start of the season, and now they’re having to be patient.

“We had a crisis at the turn of the year when they were all out at the same time – and Nick Ryan, another defender, was too – and we had to do something about it.

“That’s why we signed River.

“The squad looks so strong now everybody is back, but for a while we were so low on numbers.

“It shows how well we’ve done to have put together the sequence of results we have while those lads got healthy again.”

Witton’s trip to Farsley Celtic last weekend was postponed because of the weather.

That game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 17, kick-off 7.45pm.

Meanwhile the same opponents are due at Wincham Park on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.