Re­freshed and ready to roll

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - MIKE GLENDIN­NING

THE MID-WIN­TER break re­mains a much-dis­cussed topic in top-flight cir­cles but Mac­cles­field have had one of their own – and that suits George Pilk­ing­ton just fine.

The de­fender and his team-mates haven’t tasted Con­fer­ence ac­tion since their New Year’s Day win at Grimsby Town but ‘Pilks’ at 33 says the ben­e­fits should be clear at Kid­der­min­ster.

“It’s good to be hon­est, after Christ­mas there’s a lot go­ing on at home and so a week off then is per­fect,” he said. “After that week you do look for­ward to play­ing though, the man­ager has done well to keep us sharp so we’re raring to go again.

“Some­times you can want the next game to come be­cause you want to pick your­self up after a bad per­for­mance and some­times you’re des­per­ate to go again after a good one, like we were after Grimsby, but you just take it as it comes, and we needed that rest.

“We trained hard last week but I think he’s got the bal­ance right – a few lads were car­ry­ing knocks so we’ve been able to rest them and we’ve not re­ally lost any ground at the top while we’ve been not play­ing.”

Pilk­ing­ton brought a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to the Silk­men when he re­turned fol­low­ing a loan from Mans­field last sea­son and he’s been at the heart of a much-im­proved de­fence this sea­son.

Ask any of the cur­rent crop at the club who sets the ex­am­ple and his name would never be far from the phrase ‘model pro’.

Along­side Luke Wa­ter­fall, Liam Ho­gan and now Alex Grant the veteran has played his part in Macc con­ced­ing fewer than a goal a game in the league.

And while they sit pretty in third, Pilk­ing­ton feels there have been pre­cious few nega­tives for the play­ers to beat them­selves up over this term.

“We let our­selves down at Al­trin­cham and in the games at Ch­ester and Lin­coln,” he re­calls. “But you have to ex­pect some dis­ap­point­ments over the course of a sea­son, we’d def­i­nitely have taken third place at this stage if it had been of­fered to us.

“I think we played well enough over Christ­mas as well, ob­vi­ously the sec­ond half at Bris­tol Rovers was a let-down but there was noth­ing be­tween the teams in the first game against Grimsby and that win in the last game was de­served, it was a great way to go into the break.”

And when they do take to the field at Kid­der­min­ster the for­mer Port Vale and Lu­ton star is ready for what awaits them in 2015, when he pre­dicts it’ll be even tougher for them.

“We know the hard work starts again now,” he added.

“You’d ex­pect the stronger squads to knuckle down and make a real push from here, so this half of the sea­son should be harder still but we’re still in there and we want to stay up there.

“We’ve got enough spirit and qual­ity, it might be dif­fi­cult to push for the ti­tle but we’ve shown we keep fight­ing to the end so you never know.” TWO big events take place at the Moss Rose in the next few weeks and those look­ing to en­joy them are ad­vised to get their tick­ets to avoid miss­ing out.

The Race Night on Jan­uary 30 prom­ises un­bri­dled fun in the McIlroy Suite while Valen­tine’s Day sees a live show by the Scream­ing Beavers.

For fur­ther de­tails of both attractions visit mtfc.co.uk or call the club on 01625 264686.

Ed­die Gar­vey

●● ‘Pilks’ has been Macc’s rock in de­fence this term

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