ROSS Speight is confident his three recent signings can boost a Middlewich Town bid for promotion.

Jack Rea, Tom Rutter and Jordan Stafford, who have made recent appearances for the Witches, are now on board on a permanent basis.

Midfielder Rea, 25, was released by Conference North club AFC Telford last month, while striker Rutter, 28, and midfielder Stafford, 24, join from North West Counties sides 1874 Northwich and Barnton respectively.

“We’ve now signed the three lads that I know personally who have been formerly at clubs at a higher level but just so happen to be available at the moment for various reasons,” said Witches’ manager Speight.

“We’re lucky to have them,” said Witches’ manager Speight.

“I’m happy with the players we already had but it’s that time of year where lads start picking up injuries, so we’ve brought them in to help us out.

“They’ve got extra experience, the three of them have won things in the game as well.”

Stafford won League One, Middlewich’s current level, with Barnton.

“He’s an important signing because he’s been there and done it.

“I know he’s going to be very committed and his attitude is going to be spot on,” said Speight.

“Tom’s played Evo-Stik level with Warrington Town and Colwyn Bay.

“He’s come back from injury, played a couple of games for us and decided he wants to stay until the end of the season to try and get us over the line.

“Jack’s been coming back from an ankle injury sustained at the end of August.

“He’s fighting fit but Telford are in a bit of a relegation scrap and I don’t think they could afford to give him a bit of time to get back in the reckoning.”

They all arrive at a crucial stage of Middlewich’s campaign.

Over the next three weeks fifth-placed Witches are set to face two of the top four clubs, starting with Mersey Valley at home on Saturday, and there’s a Mid Cheshire District FA Saturday Challenge Cup semi-final with Lostock Gralam on March 17 too.

“It’s sort of do or die at the moment,” said Speight.

“If we start putting a small run together we’ll set ourselves up very nicely for the end of the season.”

“If we don’t get the results we need, we might be struggling to have anything to play for after Easter.Rutter, who is dual registered with 1874 and could also turn out for them on occasions, will not feature against Mersey Valley on Saturday due to a slight groin strain but Rea and Stafford are in the squad.

A restructuring in non-league football, which will see a number of Cheshire League clubs join the North West Counties next season, means a top-five finish could secure promotion.

“Potentially the top five could be promoted but traditionally it’s the top two,” said Speight.

“We’ve got the mindset to finish in the top two because I don’t want our promotion hinging on another club getting into the North West Counties League or not.

“I want it nailed on.”