Magpies resources will be tested to the limit over busy Christmas period

Jamie Vermiglio
Jamie Vermiglio

Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio admits his team are reaching a critical and crucial stage of their campaign.

Despite a run of 10 points out of 15 in recent weeks, the Magpies remain in the relegation zone in the National League.

And Vermiglio knows the busy Christmas period will be a severe test of his part-time squad in a division which is made up primarily of full-time operations.

“There are moments where you do see a difference,” said Vermiglio.

“Sometimes you don’t, sometimes you can mask it.

“A win and the confidence and adrenalin you get from that can put you on a par with these clubs.

“I have certainly felt that the Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday weeks, you can really see a difference in terms of the depth of the squad, the fitness levels and the recovery.

“No doubt over Christmas with the amount of games, that will play its part for a lot of the part-time clubs, especially with the travel that is involved.

“But we will do our best to recover.

“Although we are a semi-professional outfit and we are only in training a couple of times per week, the lads are very professional away from the place and we expect them to look after themselves, look after their bodies and their minds.”

This weekend, the Magpies take a breather from league matters when they travel to Matlock Town in the first round of the FA Trophy.

The Derbyshire based outfit ply their trade in the NPL Premier Division, which is two steps below the Magpies.

They are currently in a mid-table spot and Vermiglio will be looking at the fixture as another chance to get a win on the board.

He has already stated that the fixture will be an opportunity to give some of his fringe players some game time.

But that does nolt mean he will be taking the game lightly and expects Matlock will view the clash as a chance to take a big scalp.

“Matlock will be a good side I am sure,” said Vermiglio.

“They will be up for the battle and will be rolling their sleeves up thinking they can get a result against us.”

Elsewhere, AFC Fylde host National League North outfit Curzon Ashton in the first round of the FA Trophy at Mill Farm.

Southport face a tricky test in the competition when they travel to NPL Premier Division leaders South Shields.