John Askey is hoping the enforced weekend off will be reflected in his team’s performances as they bid to break into the play-off picture.

Macc Town’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Wrexham meant they were able to take 10 days to recuperate before taking on Chester on Tuesday night.

And ahead of facing his old mate Steve Burr, Askey resolved to put some daylight between the Silkmen and the mid-table sides.

“At this stage of the year it’s about making use of the time to rest and allow people to get over their little niggles,” said the Macc manager before their 3-1 win over Burr's men lifted Macc into sixth place.

“I think we’re physically and mentally freshened up so now we’re looking to push on and extend the gap between us and the mid-table teams.

Paul Lewis

“Will Haining was back in training on Monday so everybody seems to be over their little knocks, although obviously Paul Lewis is still out in the longer term with his broken collarbone.

“It’s not as bad an injury as a knee problem or a broken leg, fitness-wise – once he gets the sling off he can do his running so we hope he’ll come back in good fitness.

“He was maybe a bit naive going in for that challenge at Wrexham, knowing he was going to get hurt. In time he’ll perhaps learn to protect himself a bit better.

“But he’s got a really good attitude, he’s a brave lad – we’ve got some hard men in this squad, that’s one reason we’ve been as competitive as we have.”

Askey may not have a huge number of men to call upon but he says he does have at his disposal a squad of players that give their all each time.

“It’s unusual not to have niggles at this stage but the downside of that is that we don’t have any money coming in from the cup,” he added. “Hopefully the rest it’s given us means we get a few more crucial points, so it could benefit us in the end.”