Twenty three games to play in three months

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WHITBY Town’s latest postponement has left them with a staggering 22 games to play in just three months, writes sports editor Duncan Atkins.

The Blues’ Evo-Stik League game at Hucknall Town on Saturday was off due to a frozen pitch – the latest in a series of postponements in a winter ravaged by bad weather.

It is a stark contrast to the Blues only playing four league and cup games throughout the whole of December and January.

Manager Tommy Cassidy told the Whitby Gazette today (Mon) it was the worst fixture backlog he had ever encountered in his 25 years of management.

“Everything is so disruptive – you train, then don’t play, train, then don’t play,” he said.

“To play 22 games in three months is an absolute nightmare, particularly with a small squad.

“For some of the midweek games, players can’t always get time off work and it’s chaos for non-league clubs.”

Cassidy stressed the need for his side to reach a consistent standard to pull away from the drop zone.

“We’re in a relegation battle.

“Ossett beat Worksop 4-1 away on Saturday and that tells a story in itself – one week you can be 10 out of 10, the next one out of 10,” he said.

“We’ve got to get six or seven out of 10 every week right to the end of the season.

“If we do that, we will stay up, no problems.

“We’ve got to start winning. We have got some hard games – FC United of Manchester, Colwyn Bay and FC Halifax.”

Despite former Blue Dave McTiernan returning to bolster the squad, Cassidy is otherwise finding it a struggle to attract better players as he aims to steer his side up the table.

“It’s difficult to get good players at this time of season as managers won’t let players go,” he said.

“We need to strengthen in terms of quality and quantity when playing three or four times a week and travelling.

“But we need to try to get into mid-table early – every game is a cup final for us.”

Whitby’s league campaign resumes on Tuesday (1 Feb) night when they travel to West Yorkshire to face Frickley Athletic, 7.45pm kick-off.