JOHNNY Smith reckons the near two-month break caused by the recent cold snap has taken the wind out of his Newhall United side.
The Blues are unbeaten in 11 Midlands Regional Alliance games, but have drawn their last three, including last week’s 1-1 disappointment at bottom side Sandiacre Town, who were dispatched 9-0 in September.
“We weren’t good enough for a start, but credit to them because they’ve improved,” said Smith. “There are six fresh faces and they pushed us in the first half.
“Our lads went out there half-heartedly, expecting to win.
“This big break has really done us and we’re struggling to get going.
“It’s strange how it’s gone in the last few weeks.”
Newhall host Punjab United on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm, looking for three points to climb the table on the back of their unbeaten run.
The Blues sit in eighth place, but a run of wins could easily see them climb up to third spot.
“We’re going to need a big performance this week,” said Smith. “We’e got to get those three points.”
Rob Greenhalgh could be missing through work commitments, but Shane Potter (damaged ribs) is battling through the pain barrier, while Jack Willars (knee) is fit.
Richard Draycott (knee) is doubtful but should play some part in mdifield.
BLUES FROM: Baldwin, A Greenhalgh, R Greehalgh, Foster, Burton, McInulty, Duggins, R Draycott, Kilduff, M Draycott, Potter, Croxall, Harris, Willars, Balfour.