United hope to kick off [literally] their packed fixture pile-up with a home game against Crawley this Saturday, and it’s all eyes on the weather as manager Chris Beech continues to get the group ready for what will be another tough encounter.
“We’re in the hands of the weather at this time of year,” he said. “It doesn’t look as good as it did on Tuesday but all we can do is wait and see.
“We trained on the pitch on Saturday and it played really well. We actually had a great 60-minute game.
“Dave Mitchell knows the weather and his ground better than anyone, he’s been doing it for years, and of course he wants to be very proud of the work he does and proud of his ground.
“It’s going to be hard for him, we’ll face a lot of situations he won’t necessarily like, because we might have to train on it more.
“There’ll be more games without recovery time for the pitch between them, but we are a football club and the art of being a top groundsman, and a top manager, and a top player, or a top journalist, is that when you get the chance to do your work you do it to the best of your ability and make sure that what you produce is good.
“It’s no good having something prepared and never using it, but it always looks lovely. So, we’ve got to try to make it good, use it as much as we can and look forward to the next 23 games - whenever it is we get the chance to play them.”
But with the temperatures providing the biggest current test, he told us: “I’ve just ordered some ice hockey sticks and got Nick [Anderton] some bigger shinpads because I think he’d be pretty good in goal for a game of ice hockey.
“If we were playing it today the gloves would be off and there’d be one hell of a fight on the ice rink, because the lads just want to be doing something. They’re disappointed they haven’t been able to play.
“We had 19 outfield players ready for Tuesday’s squad and a team of 11 would come from that. With substitutes we’d have had two or three players missing out, but that hasn’t been shared with the players.
“We’ll work them really hard, keep an eye on the forecasts - but they change so often it’s not the best - and we’ll take it from there.”