MICHAEL Welch has promised that Middlewich Town will remain committed to attack as they attempt to keep pace with the Cheshire League top-flight’s best teams.

The Witches have scored 52 goals, an average of close to three a game, on their return to the Premier Division and sat third in the table on Christmas Day.

However only two teams have conceded more, and they’re both trying to avoid being relegated.

“We must tighten up,” said the co-boss.

“That’s where we’re looking to improve, and maybe we can find a better balance, but we’re a side that carries a threat all over the pitch and we don’t want to lose that.”

A long-term shoulder injury to defensive lynchpin Dean Burgess hasn’t helped, and full-back Scott Twite has switched to the middle of Town’s back-four to cover.

His partnership with new recruit Joe Coombs is a promising one though and the Witches have looked more secure with a settled line-up in front of goalkeeper Charles Masters.

They enter the weekend, when Daten visit Seddon Street, six points adrift of leaders Altrincham reserves.

A run of four Premier Division matches without a win, including a narrow 3-2 defeat at Eagle Sports last time out, has seen that gap widen.

However Welch, who manages the team jointly with John O’Sullivan and Ross Speight, told the Guardian he is optimistic Town can close it again.

He added: “There is a sense of frustration that we don’t have more points because there are games when we’ve thrown them away after blowing a lead.

“I guess every side will have a story like that, but we’ve given ourselves a chance in the league because we’re in touching distance of first place.

“We’ll be having a go at getting there too, which as a promoted team is something we can be proud of.”

Middlewich are also through to the last eight of the Mid-Cheshire District FA Saturday Challenge Cup and host Winsford side Over 3 Grange when the competition resumes in February.

There is plenty to play for, starting with Daten on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

The Warrington outfit, promoted as League One champions at the end of last term, ran out 3-2 victors in the return last month.

Welch said: “It’s a big game for us if we want to stay close to the top of the table.

“We’ve shown though that we can compete, and we know we’re a match for anybody when we produce our best.”