IF anything, lockdown came at a good time for Warrington Town.

From the outside looking in, they appear handily placed as they will sit among the Pitching In Northern Premier League play-off spots when the season gets underway again.

However, the break from fixtures has allowed manager Paul Carden the chance to step back and take a closer look at why a promising start had begun to fizzle out.

After winning their first four league games without conceding, they only won one of the next five prior to lockdown.

"As much as anything, the stoppage came at a good time as it gave me a chance to evaluate where we were at," Carden said ahead of his side's return to action in the FA Trophy at Marske United on Tuesday, kick off 7pm.

"That’s basically what I’ve been doing for the past four weeks. It’s not been a case of just switching off.

"I’ve gone over things, looking back at what we’ve done in training when we’ve had decent results, to enable us to move forward.

"Even though we had started okay, I wasn’t completely convinced by how they were.

"I wasn’t completely happy with how we were going about things, not really through anyone’s bad intentions but I just felt we weren’t right.

"There were parts of games that felt like how I want us to be and there were other chunks in the same game that would be so far away from that.

"Our control of the game on the ball was lacking at times. The ball was changing hands too much for my liking.

"A lot of the time, we were evening the game out with our decision-making."

The national lockdown ended yesterday, Wednesday, but for the past four weeks, Yellows and other "non-elite" football teams have not even been able to meet for training sessions.

Just as when Covid-19 initially ground things to a halt in the spring, then, teams have had to find innovative ways of staying fit within the rules.

"We’ve set challenges every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday," Carden said.

"There’s been a lot of pictures and videos flying around of a few of the lads looking a very pale green after some of these challenges.

"At least you know they’re putting it in and keeping themselves right for if and when we do get started again."

The last point Carden makes is a pertinent one.

While the law of the land states non-elite football can now resume, the tougher regional tiered restrictions have complicated matters.

Prior to lockdown, non-elite clubs in whatever tier could admit limited numbers of spectators at matches subject to social distancing and other Covid-secure measures.

Under the new rules, however, clubs that fall under Tier 3 restrictions have been told they must play home matches behind closed doors and while those in Tier 2 can admit fans, they will not be allowed to sell food and drink inside grounds.

Of the 22 teams in the NPL Premier Division, 17 are in Tier 3 areas and as such, the league confirmed yesterday that clubs had voted for the stoppage to continue for now.

"At this stage, you’re planning for games to come thick and fast but obviously, nothing’s been happening," Carden said.

"The strangest part of it is nobody knows what’s going to happen next.

"If you had a level head, going into this season you’d have expected at least one suspension.

"It’s frustrating and very costly for clubs. It’s frustrating for players as well because for a lot of them, football supplements their income and if they’re not playing, they’re not going to get paid.

"People talk about the mental impact of this pandemic and it’s true – it will be affecting a lot of people.

"When there’s no target and no clarity about what’s going to happen, you’re just dealing in what ifs all the time."