ALL the talk in football of a ‘winter break’ seems a little lost on Studley manager Paul Smith.

His side’s hopes of pushing into the top echelons of the Midland Combination Premier have been put on hold of late due to the weather.

In fact, Studley have been without a competitive game since Boxing Day’s 3-1 win at Blackwood, although they did manage a friendly on the 3G pitch at Earlswood last weekend.

Now attention turns to knockout competitions with a Birmingham Midweek Cup tie against Bustleholme at Tipton tonight.

That is followed by an away trip to struggling Castle Vale in the league on Saturday, a game Smith says his side must win.

“We wish we hadn’t had our winter break,” said Smith, whose side are currently lying seventh in the table.

“Some teams have played five, six and as many as seven games more than us, so now we have to knuckle down, starting with Castle Vale.”

With a fixture backlog at the end of the season now inevitable Smith said one plus point could be that half of his squad do not play Sunday football for other teams.

“That may be a little bit of luck for us because most teams at this level have most of their players playing for Sunday teams,” added Smith.

“But it is also a Catch 22 situation – if you are winning games you want them to come thick and fast, it gets harder when you are losing games.”

“Obviously when you play a lot of games you have issues with injuries and suspensions, but it can go one of two ways.

“We have a put a good squad together and now we’re just hopeful of getting back to action. But there’s nothing we can do about the weather, we just have to stay positive and hope we can get some games in.”

All of which leaves Studley having only played 18 league fixtures so far this season – with a tough secondhalf of the season beckoning. .

There was frustration for Feckenhamafter their Division One clash at Littletons was postponed. They entertain Hampton on Saturday.