THE unexpected break in the fixture schedule due to the inclement weather may be a current pain for many footballers, but there is a silver lining for Guiseley midfielder Will Hatfield.
Two successive Nethermoor postponements, against Barrow and Dagenham and Redbridge respectively, have forced the National League’s basement club to stew upon last weekend’s heavy loss at Sutton United longer than they would have wished, yet the big freeze may have done Hatfield an inadvertent favour.
Having only relatively recently returned to the first-team fray following groin surgery in early November, the break in the schedule will at least afford the former Accrington player time to rest and recuperate ahead of the run-in, which he is grateful for.
Hatfield told the YEP: “Coming back, I have been thrown straight in the deep end in playing the last three games.
“Maybe having this little break is good for my body just to recover. I was out for a long time; 16 weeks altogether and coming back straight in the deep end has been tough. With a little break in the week and weekend, I will be ready to go again on Tuesday against Barrow.
“After my first full 90 minutes, I got up in the morning and could hardly move! I was feeling tight, so the last week has been good to recover and just keep ticking over again ready to go.”
On the team disruption posed by the recent ‘Beast from the East’ arctic blast, he added: “We have not been able to train due to venues (being snowed over) and we have just been told to keep ticking over and doing our own stuff at the gym and have been sent programmes and stuff to keep on top.
“There is nothing you can do about it and this year has been some extreme weather with the snow. But maybe a break will do us well before the last big push.”
Guiseley’s situation at the foot of the table may be perilous, but a little bit of the club’s spirit has been rekindled under caretaker boss Sean St Ledger, according to Hatfield and while you will get seriously long odds on the Lions staving off the drop and performing a ‘Great Escape Mark Three’, they will certainly be giving it a good go.
Hatfield added: “Sean has brought us all together again. Previously, a lot of people here and there were not really knowing what was going on, especially with the results and manager (Paul Cox) going.
“He (St Ledger) has come in and got us together and tried to get the spirits up and got the win against Fylde, which helped. That win was massive.
“He has kept everything simple and gone back to basics. He has tried to be positive and play football the right way and got everybody working and fighting for each other and that’s all you need. We had a disappointing result last Saturday. But they (Sutton) are a strong team, away from home and we are not getting to base staying up on beating Sutton and losing to them 4-0 is not going to make us get relegated.
“We know what position we are in and have got to grit our teeth, pull together and give our all and we will see where we end up. It’s not ideal, but we are where we are and have got try to stick together, stay positive and see where we finish at the end of the season.
“Sean has tried to get that message across.”
All the matches in the National North, Evo-Stik and NCE leagues were postponed due to the severe weather.