AFTER a long break from competitive action, anyone would think the last thing Witton Albion need is a rest.

However, that is exactly what boss Carl Macauley is thankful for after an up-and-down week for his side.

A 49-day gap between games ended on Saturday as Albion beat Bamber Bridge 2-0 in the FA Trophy and it looked as if cobwebs had been well and truly brushed off.

However, Tuesday night saw them exit the competition via a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Nantwich Town – a game in which injuries to key players were sustained.

With the Pitching In Northern Premier League getting back underway on Boxing Day, Macauley says a chance to refresh has come at the perfect time.

“It’s important we keep our heads up and go again,” he said.

“We’ve got a week off now to recover and be ready for Warrington on Boxing Day.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down but the rest is going to be important as fatigue and injuries have crept up on us.

“Stopping and starting hasn’t helped us and it won’t have helped anyone else either.”

League fixtures stopped in November in line with the national coronavirus lockdown in England and non-elite football was allowed to resume when those restrictions were lifted on December 2.

It was initially thought the stoppage would continue into January as clubs in Tier 3 areas would have to play matches behind closed doors.

Following a slight climb-down from the government in allowing Tier 3 clubs to admit a small number of spectators to home games, however, the league have decided to resume on Boxing Day.

Teams will be scratching around for match fitness but Witton are among a select number to have played competitively since lockdown was lifted thanks to their two FA Trophy outings.

However, Macauley believes that will not count for much.

“I don’t see it as an advantage really,” he said.

“I know teams have been playing friendlies behind closed doors to get some match fitness.

“It’s a concern for us and every other team with lads coming back playing after so long off the pitch.

“More injuries are even happening in the professional game. We have to try and manage it as best we can.”