CARL Macauley has said Witton will be able to sign players only if they are prepared to let others go.

The Albion manager could name only three substitutes for last weekend’s game against South Shields and is likely to be in a similar position when Matlock arrive in Northwich tomorrow.

He told the Guardian he will, for now at least, continue to put faith in the squad he has.

“We cannot bring anybody in unless we ship somebody else out,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to the board and over the past couple of weeks we’ve been bang on the budget.

“Even players on the loan market, and we’ve used that to bring in the likes of Liam Goulding and Jordan Lussey, come with a price.

“That means we’re really limited with what we can do.”

Danny McKenna is available again on Saturday but and he will take the place of Billy Smart who is due to start a two-match suspension.

Chris Noone (knee) and Nick Ryan (leg) are long-term injury absentees, while Delial Brewster (ankle) has been restricted by an injury to a single start since Albion’s FA Cup exit against Solihull Moors back in October.

The squad was further depleted at Christmas when Michael Wilson completed a transfer to Clitheroe.

“It’s been a godsend not to have had a game in midweek,” said Macauley.

“That would have been tough given that we had lads that picked up knocks [against South Shields] “We’ve got a small squad and so it becomes a problem when you have a couple of guys missing.”

A home date with the Gladiators has taken on added significance after Albion lost three of the past four Northern Premier League matches.

It leaves them 15th in the standings, four points clear of the relegation zone and with at least three games in hand on every side below them with the exception of Workington.

However Macauley insists he wants to leave nothing to chance.

There is reason for optimism; his players deserve credit for their performances in games against the Premier Division’s top four teams and they had been unbeaten in five matches before Warrington visited on Boxing Day.

He said: “Our target now is to try and get a couple of wins because that can be so important for confidence.

“It’s so tight below us in the table and there are probably eight or nine teams in the mix.

“The fixture list doesn’t let up though and Matlock have shown in recent weeks what a formidable opponent they can be.

“But we can only look after ourselves and I believe our displays against the likes of Warrington, Farsley and South Shields will earn us the respect of whoever we come up against.”