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Steve Watson on preparations for next week

By Dan Simmonite | 28th January 2021

Steve Watson is preparing as normal for the resumption of play scheduled for next Saturday, with the team travelling to play Alfreton Town at the Impact Arena.

The Manager said: “As soon and me, Dave and the Chairman had a chat we decided to use these two weeks to get the players back up to speed because obviously we’ve missed a lot of football.

“We’ve not had a prolonged time to get ourselves back to full fitness. It’s been difficult this week because everywhere has been frozen and all of the 3G pitches in the area have been closed down.

“We’ve found it very tough to get a session out of it, which seems typical of the way things have gone this season – very stop-start and very uncertain. But we’ve had a very good session at Bootham today and I liked what I saw.

“As far as I’m concerned, we made the decision to carry on and focus on the 6th being our first game [back]. Yesterday only enhanced the chances of that happening.”

The National League yesterday confirmed in an email to all club secretaries that the North and South seasons will continue after the 2-week break, starting with the fixtures scheduled for ‘Saturday 6 February and beyond’.

“Already this season, even before this break, it’s been far from ideal,” added Watson.

“But we don’t want to waste a season and have to accept that this is the position we are in. We’ve got to play a lot of games back-to-back, but we want to try and compete and get out of this league, so we’ve got to try and make it work and that’s all we are focussed on really.

“If everyone in the league is willing to carry on, then carry on. We started this season and where we are positionally shouldn’t come into play – I can only speak for our club; we are more than willing to carry on.

“The knock-on effect is enormous if we stop, what happens to the National League, does it carry on? If it does will there be no relegation so the teams near the bottom – could they take the foot off the gas? What happens to the League Two relegation?

“We’ve got so many knock-on effects for the integrity of the game that we’ve all got a duty to go on and try and get a finish if we can. I can only speak for our club.”

City were one of the clubs who were in favour of protecting the integrity of football and allowing the division to come to an honourable conclusion, as it did last season, by continuing to play this campaign.

Watson added: “For me I’m lucky that we’ve got a Chairman who wants to carry on. Once you get told that from our point of view then all that’s left for me to do is prepare the players, pick the team and get them as fit and as ready for every game as possible.

“If it’s stopped or if it’s halted again that won’t be from us. We will be pleading our case to try and finish the league in whatever format that may be. I think points per game, albeit as bitter a pill it was to swallow at the end of last season, considering we were 80-per-cent through the season you can understand why it went to that. You can’t realistically do that [this season] when we’ve only played 12 games.

“We have to try and carry on. For us, it’s not an option to try and stop the league.

“I don’t want to speak or second guess on what other clubs and Chairmen are going through. If it’s achievable and we can all finish and it’s affordable and the clubs all get the help that they need – which we should get because they’ve led us into this season thinking we can complete the full season – then we all should [continue].

“We don’t want to see another season go by where we haven’t been able to give it our best and had a real go at trying to get out of this division. That’s our thought process at this club.”

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