THE BetVictor Northern Premier Division is wide open – and Witton Albion are right in the mix.

Even though they go into a New Year’s Day clash with Nantwich Town on a run of three games without a win, they still sit just four points shy of a play-off place.

Indeed, the division’s top nine sides are separated by just eight points as 2020 begins.

Nevertheless, Albion boss Carl Macauley knows his side need to put another extended run of results together.

“It’s strange this year as there is no-one really running away with it,” he said.

“South Shields are in a good position but they’ve had a couple of setbacks of late.

“We took a dip in our performances and results and so have teams like Warrington and Nantwich.

“I saw Lancaster got beat by Bamber Bridge on Boxing Day – that shows you how tight the league is. Any team can beat any other.

“My message to the players has been that we are in touching distance of where we want to be.

“There’s a few teams that are in the same position. Everyone is going to be fighting to get in there.

“We’re not far away but we need to get back on a good run again. If we can pick up as many points as we can, who knows?”

Albion are hoping to welcome back Danny McKenna against Nantwich after illness limited him to an unused substitutes role during the 1-1 draw with Warrington Town on Boxing Day.

Liam Goulding was substituted during that game with a dead leg but Macauley is also confident he will be available.

Midfielder Billy Smart serves the final game of his three-match suspension and will be available again for Buxton's visit to Wincham Park on Saturday.