NUNEATON Town defender Mark Albrighton feels he is hitting top form after adapting to the challenges of dropping out of the full time game.
The 36-year-old former Doncaster Rovers centre-half was heralded as a key signing in the summer but he had a mixed start to the season after leaving Kidderminster Harriers.
He feels joining part-time Boro, coupled with the birth of his son and sporadic appearances, affected his early form, however, since regaining his place five games ago he has been one of the team’s best performers.
Albrighton said: “I’m pleased with my form. It’s difficult playing the odd game then not playing for a month or more.
“It’s tough because I’m not training every day and we don’t have a reserve team.
“I’ve come out the full-time game this summer. I’ve just had a little boy and I’ve got a proper job outside football for the first time in 12 years.
“It’s been a bit difficult. I’ve been working shifts on nights two weeks and then days two weeks. It takes some adapting to but I feel I’m getting used to it.
“This is my fifth game on the trot I
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believe. I feel sharper and fitter than at any other point this season.
“I’m happy to be in the side and doing well, but everyone is playing well and we are working as a team.”
The Nuneaton resident is set to have a new central defensive partner for at least the next two games as vice-captain Gaz Dean is suspended.
However, Albrighton has no doubt he and the man he replaced due to illness, Guy Hadland (pictured), will be up to the task — starting with Saturday’s game at Solihull Moors.
“Most of my games have been with Guy bar the last couple of games alongside Gaz. We’ve known each other for years and he’s played most of the season.
“He’s been unlucky to get ill and then I’ve come in and he’s gone out. I’m hoping we’ll do well for the team together.
“It will be a battle in the next few games, Solihull especially as so many of their players used to play for us,” he said.
Three wins since Boro were docked six points have seen the team reclaim third place in Blue Square Bet North with three games to go.
Albrighton says he was thrilled Nuneaton won both Easter games 3-0 to put themselves in the driving seat to secure a play-off place.
“It was a fantastic weekend. We’ve gone out and done the job we wanted to do for the team regardless of what others did.
“They were two very tricky games but the performance the lads put in was great. We fully deserved to win both games. The points deduction has driven us on. We’ve stuck together, as we would have anyway.
“It’s in the back of our minds that we have to keep winning. It’s pleasing we’ve kept winning and it’s pleasing we’ve played well,” he said.