TowN midfielder Liam Needham could be forgiven for having a horrible feeling of deja-vu as the Shaymen head for the Blue Square Bet North play offs.
This time last year he was returning from injury as a Guiseley player as they secured a top five finish and reached the final against Telford.
Today he is continuing his rehabilitation following an ankle problem he picked up at Stalybridge Celtic on Good Friday which ended a run of impressive performances for Neil Aspin’s men.
Unlike last season, however, Needham is confident he will be ready to play in the play offs should Town secure their place in them.
“We have looked at the ankle, assessed it and I will be ready for the play offs,” he said.
“Obviously we have to get there first but we are in a good position.
“I should be ready for next week. If I am not we will look to the week after.
“But I am positive that I will be available for the play-offs - I don’t want to miss them this year.”
Needham, one of Town’s best players since the turn of the year, was forced to watch from the stands again at the weekend as the Shaymen came from behind to bag a point at Altrincham.
In common with most sportsmen, he is never happy when he cannot affect what is happening on the pitch.
But he also knows that risking declaring himself fit to play again and breaking down again would be unthinkable.
“Watching games kills me to be honest,” he said “It ruins my week.
“But we are in a good position, a position to get in the play offs and you don’t want to risk doing anything that would put you out of the play offs.
“It is a bit of a dilemma.
“I did some running and strength work on my ankle before the game on Saturday and it wasn’t ready.
“I did a little bit of passing with a couple of the lads and knew after that.”
Town resume the race for a top five finish on Saturday at home to Droylsden - one of only four teams to beat them on the road in the league this season.
And they know that if they pick up three points and Stalybridge Celtic fail to win at Gloucester City it would secure their play off place with a game to spare.
Before Droylsden can concentrate on their visit to the Shay they play this evening when they travel to Histon in a re-arranged game.
Halifax Town Supporters’ Club’s next open to question meeting takes place tomorrow in the Sports Bar at the Shay (8pm).
The guests are Town defenders Aaron Hardy and Ryan Toulson.