Manager Phil Parkinson with his latest column for Altrincham Today…
After three weeks without a game, due to the postponement of our home game with Brackley Town and Telford United’s involvement in the FA Trophy semi-final last Saturday, it’s great to get back to action today as we take on Kidderminster Harriers at the J Davidson Stadium (3pm kick off).
The positive aspect of this unscheduled break is that it has allowed quite a few of the players who had niggles and knocks to recover, whilst the negative is that this came at a time when we were bang at it, right in form, winning games and playing really well and the concern is that the break could leave us a little rusty.
In training, we have really concentrated on fitness and a number of players who needed match minutes have turned out for the reserves, whilst everyone was involved in a 90 minute in-house game last Thursday night.
Our opponents on Saturday, Kidderminster Harriers, looked a really good side when we lost 3-2 at Aggborough in September, but having been second to the early runaway leaders Chorley a couple of months into the season, they hit a rocky patch that cost manager Neil MacFarlane his job.
Harriers should be right up there in this league as a full-time former Football League club with fantastic facilities.
Mark Yates, the former Macclesfield Town manager, has come in and he will be looking for all three points today to get his side back in the hunt for a play-off place, whilst for us, it’s another opportunity to deal a big blow to a team that is lurking outside the play-offs and I am hoping that we can do the same as we did to Southport, Curzon Ashton, Chester and York, who would have been all breathing down our necks if we hadn’t risen to the challenge and seen each one off.
Our objective remains to get into the play-offs. It would be a massive achievement for the football club.
We are good enough but to do it, we must hit the ground running today… if we do that I am very confident that we will be taking our season into May.
Sadly Joe Piggott, who missed our last game at York due to a back injury, has had his scan results back and he is out for the season, which is a big blow as Joe had done really well for us during his loan spell.
Billy Sass-Davies may also not be risked tomorrow, as he has a niggle. We have good cover defensively and we will need Billy to play in the run-in, particularly having not played for three weeks, we now have eight games to play in four weeks.
Steven Drench and Matt Chadwick are both available, whilst James Poole is waiting for his scan results but was able to do some jogging on Thursday night.
We are hoping for a big crowd tomorrow and a continuation of the fantastic support that we have experienced in our recent games.
Top picture: Michael Ripley