Bootle manager Steve McNulty says his side are raring to go as they host Workington this weekend.
The Bucks return to action for the first time since their August Bank Holiday win over rivals City of Liverpool.
Since then, they have had no game due to their FA Cup exit before they were handed an avenue into the next round of the FA Trophy when Grimsby Borough withdrew from the competition.
For Bootle, it’s their first time in action since the arrival of Carl Macauley as assistant manager alongise Dave Jones.
Workington narrowly missed out on the Northern Premier League West title last season before Neil Kengni’s hat-trick helped Marine into the final.
Their start to the campaign hasn’t been ideal but McNulty reiterated that the visitors have quality.
He told Off The Park: “It’s going to be a really tough game, they’re a good side, they’re travelling down to us, there’s no easy game in this league. It’s a tough test but I’ve heard they’re going to be one of the teams at the top end of the table come the back end of the season.
“It’s going to be a tough test for us and it will show us exactly where we are in regards to squad-wise and what sort of players we need. It’s going to be a tough test, one which the lads will be up for.”
McNulty hinted at his frustration at his sides layoff from action after they built momentum following their successive wins over Trafford and the Purps.
“When you’re winning games you just want the next game to come, get on a bit of a run, a bit of momentum behind you then it’s stopped,” he added.
“It’s tough, I think us as a club, me as a manager and the players would have wanted the games to keep coming thick and fast, obviously you can’t help that and it was one of those things.
“We’ve trained hard, it’s given us a bit more time to work on things, get them used to the way we want to train and do train – on that behalf it [the break] has been good, they’ve had tough sessions and they’ve done well. We’ve prepared right and we will be ready come Saturday.
“Runcorn Linnets went there and beat them 2-1 in the Trophy, cup games are totally different to the league, they’ll be coming to put it right on Saturday. It’s a tough game but we’ll prepare right for and one we’ll be ready for.”
There have been two incomings for the Bucks this week as the former Tranmere Rovers and Luton Town defender looks to increase the strength of his squad.
Oliver Putnam arrived from Warrington Town before Runcorn Linnets midfielder Jacques Welsh became their second signing of the week.
McNulty admitted that the movement in the market was a signal of his intent within the squad.
He continued: “Ollie was at Witton when we were there, he’s come from Warrington. A good player, will bring energy, passing, he’ll get in the box, hopefully get on the end of a few and score a few goals.
“He’s a good addition to the squad, the squads good at the minute but we’re looking to bring in a few more additions for competition for places. We just need a bit more competition and that’s what we’ll be doing, we’re looking to bring a few more in to compete for the starting 11.
“Me as a manager I don’t want to have 11 people that are nailed on to start, I need people knowing they’ve got to turn up and perform on a Saturday or a Tuesday otherwise they’re going to have to come out the team and wait for their chance.
“Competition for places is always healthy, it does the world of good. The starting 11, they’ve got the shirt but they’ll have that competition knowing that if they’re not performing or playing well, they’ll have to come out the team.”