Plans for a return of 2,000 fans for the home game against Salford City next Wednesday [kick off 7pm] are now well advanced with the club having found itself in a good place, with a successful test event against Southend in September already under the belt.
Talking about what is a fantastic step forward for football in general, manager Chris Beech said: “It’s unbelievably good news.
“I’m really pleased that we have an opportunity to get the supporters back in the stadium so that we can share our experiences with them. I’m really pleased about that.
“We’ve got a lot of organising to do behind the scenes to get ready, and I know the admin staff are working hard to make sure we’re good to go next Wednesday.
“It’s new news, but we’ve been working at it from as soon as we knew it was possibly going to happen, so that again puts us in a good place.”
“For me, personally, I’m so excited, and for the players it’s unbelievable because they can now share experiences with the fans. As for the supporters, well done for being so patient, but you’ll have to continue that patience because I know everybody can’t get in.
“I’m glad I’m not making decisions on who that is because I know everybody just want to be here. But I wouldn’t like to say no to anybody who has waited so long to come back to see us, but all we can ask is that people understand what we’re ultimately trying to achieve.
“Like anything in life we often think about our own personal needs first, but we do have some tough decisions to make and it’s a shame with having such a big stadium that we can’t actually have more people here, but it is what it is.”
One of the big discussion points with the restrictions around different levels and tiers across the country has been the unfair advantage gained by some clubs being allowed to have fans where, at the same time, others aren’t.
“The way I look at it is that we have to start somewhere,” he commented. “There’ll be an atmosphere, rather than not one. I just think that’s generally good, even if you’re the away team.
“You might have one game with people, then the next week travel and have a game not with people. We can’t choose that. I think we have to try and start the ball rolling as such to try and encourage the sport to grow again and get people coming back to it.
“It’s what we need to try and survive financially. If it’s a small step, we’ve got to make it, and we’ve got to support it in the best way we can, wherever it is.
“In terms of advantage on the pitch, for us at home, possibly, but you just don’t know. For me, we’ve just got to concentrate on what we do on the pitch and that’s what gives us our worth at the end of the game.”