ILKLEY Town manager, Simon Armstrong, says there is currently a “feel good factor” at the club after his side returned to winning ways.

After beating Pool AFC 3-2 and Headingley AFC 5-3 in their opening two friendly fixtures, Town were set to face Barnoldswick on Tuesday evening.

Not only did the 1st’s return to winning ways, Town’s U23’s also claimed two victories, beating Silsden and Harrogate Town U19’s over the past week, while the 2nd’s beat Otley Town 2nd team 4-0.

Manager Armstrong believes the feeling at the club is very positive.

“The clubs in an extremely positive place, it’s very vibrant and we are all looking forward to the restart.

Armstrong does feel his side can improve even more and is confident they’ll get back to full fitness by early as Saturday.

“I think the players have found this lockdown tougher than the first one.

“They’ve come back to football, yes they’ve enjoyed it, but I think they’ve found it more physically challenging, even though they’ve put the work in on the off-season.

“I think physically, even the really fit lads have found it quite challenging.

“I do think we are getting there though and hopefully we will be there by Saturday, for the first game of the Presidents Cup.”

On the prospects of the remainder of the season, Armstrong said: “I think the aim for us from now until the end of the season, is to give everyone sufficient game time, including the youngsters.

“Take a really good look at everybody. Look at one or two different things on the pitch. Different partnerships, different strategies and different formations.

“Most importantly, we want to help the players learn and grow with a view to ideally preparing them for next season."

Armstrong, who currently deploys a 4-2-3-1 formation, believes tinkering with different formations is essential for helping players to develop and understand the game in a different light.

"The Presidents Cup will give us a fantastic opportunity to rotate and help the group continue to develop ahead of the new season.

"We currently play a 4-2-3-1. We are tinkering with a back 3, a 4-3-3 and a 4-4-2. We really want to see how it changes the dynamics.

"We have some good forwards at the club, so we feel we could play two strikers to good effect.

"The formations that I have mentioned, we feel they will benefit the players massively. It will help to develop the players understanding on the pitch and their game intelligence.

"Being able to change formations, accordingly, will give as a great advantage."

Town, who's season was curtailed after Covid-19 had forced a halt to the season, still wait anxiously ahead of the FA's promotion verdict.

Armstrong said: “We haven't heard anything new from the FA. We are having a ground inspection on Saturday by the North West Counties, to see if it meets the FA's requirements.

"We will then wait for the FA's decision. It will most likely be in May."