Finally, we’re back on the pitch!
Come Saturday, it will be a fortnight since we were last in action and Paul and the boys will be desperate to get out there and put some crucial league points on the board, as we try to move back into the top half of the table.
But it won’t be easy. One thing’s for sure, we’ve had plenty of time to be ready for Saturday’s trip to Nantwich, while our opponents’ preparation involved an unexpected 2-1 loss atTrafford on Tuesday night – a win which lifted theMancunians off the bottom of the pile.
Nantwich have had a mixed start to life in the Northern Premier League West Division. They’re on a run of no wins in their last three having had impressive home wins over Runcorn and the at the time league leaders Kidsgrove immediately prior to that. Which Nantwich will turn up on Saturday?
More importantly though, which Newcastle will turn up? Having been on the cusp of the play-offs when we were last in action, our enforced spell without a fixture means we have dropped down to 12th leaving us just as close to the relegation spaces as we are to the play-offs.
But it’s still very early days of course and the huge positive that needs to be taken is that our performances are much more typical of a team challenging for promotion than one which is looking over its shoulder. It’s still an extremely congested league and a little unbeaten run could easily see us climb again quickly.
Looking ahead to Saturday and we know there will be at least one change to the side that lost 2-1 at Clitheroe. Dan Cockerline has moved on to Bury AFC now and so the gaffer has a decision who to start up top.
We have signed Tom Jones on a dual registration from an Altrincham side who currently sit in the National League play-off positions. At 18, Tom is unquestionably one for the future and we are very pleased to have him with us for hopefully a few games. Tom can play anywhere across the frontline and is a very direct player, so is another strong goal-scoring option for us.
Captain Tommy van der Laan and Isaac Graham are both one booking away from a suspension but are available for Saturday and the good news is that the ankle knock theskipper picked up in training a fortnight ago, which ruled him out the second half against Stalybridge, is not causing him any concern now.
We are ready to go again. Come on ‘Castle!