STEVE KITTRICK: Big tests over a busy Christmas

Steve Kittrick
Steve Kittrick

Starting on Saturday we have some very big games over a busy Christmas period.

Each of of these fixtures will be completely different tests for us and the players.

Ossett Town on Saturday will be strong, they will get the ball from back to front quickly and they will make it hard for us to play.

After that we travel to Hyde United on December 23, on paper at the moment they are the league’s form team, but we certainly owe them one.

This will be a good yardstick to see how far we have come from the frustration of going out of the FA Cup against them.

Boxing Day will see us entertaining Tadcaster Albion in a local derby and that will have the challenges that those games usually throw up.

Clitheroe, who we are at home to on December 30, are traditionally a good footballing side, then we play at South Shields on New Year’s Day, for me the best side in this league.

When we raise our heads after these fixtures then we will have a better idea of where we are and where we are going to be.

There will be no targets set for the players over that period, because that can pile the pressure on, it will be that old cliche, taking every game as it comes.

All we ask of the players it to be sensible over the Christmas period, because that kind of behaviour lifts the successful teams above the rest.

They have to look after themselves and make the right choices when it comes to having a beer.

We’ll be able to tell when they turn up and social media also shows up quite a lot of things nowadays.

If they do have a drink then they have to remember the club they are playing for, their teammates and also the supporters who pay their money to watch them.

It is hard to manage, it is all about trust. I’m sure they will be responsible and I’m hoping that none of them fall off the log.

Going into our first game of the period we are fortunate to be back to full strength.

We are also hoping to make a loan signing before the weekend to strengthen us further.

Jack Johnson came through the game against Marske on Tuesday night without any problems, so we will have everyone to choose from, which helps at such a busy time.