It’s been training rather than playing for Matlock Town’s squad as the wet weather put off their visit to Nantwich last Saturday and then Tuesday night’s home meeting with Rushall Olympic.

It might not have been such a bad thing as far as the Gladiators are concerned for it has given them time to work on the deficiencies which have cost them dear recently in time for this weekend’s home clash with Witton Albion. The last three visiting sides to the DCJ Group Arena have each scored three goals and Albion also hit three against Matlock last November when the sides shared six goals in Cheshire.

Joint-bosses Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood would no doubt have been concentrating on improving Matlock’s defensive game in the hastily arranged training sessions held on Saturday and on Tuesday night.

“All 10 outfield players have to play their part in helping out Phil Barnes,” said Hopkins. “Eleven people have to defend properly.

“When we’ve done well in the past we’ve had energy and that energy and spark hasn’t been there all of the time this season. Our teams have been athletic and played at a tempo and we’ve reminded the lads about this.”

Witton currently lie in 10th spot having picked up one more point on their travels than they have gained on home soil. Hopkins admitted to having some thoughts on next season but maintained that the next game is foremost in the management’s thoughts.

“Yes we’re looking at next season but the important thing is to get things right at the minute,” he said. “We’re making enquiries about players with next season in mind when we want to get back to having a young, hungry, athletic team.”

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