MACCLESFIELD Town coach Byron James says his side owe Altrincham one ahead of their National League meeting at Moss Lane on Saturday afternoon (15:00 GMT).

The Silkmen make the short trip across Cheshire for the first time in the league since a last minute James Lawrie goal gave Alty a dramatic win last season.

And James believes that his players will be motivated to earn a win that would see them re-enter the play-off race.

He told the Macclesfield Express: “We are going to try and achieve the best we can achieve and Altrincham are a team we know well and they are a team we owe.

“The lads are really up for it and think it’s a game we can win and if we play there like we played against Wrexham then there is no reason why we can’t pick up a result.

“If we have a bit of luck and quality in front of goal then I’m confident that we can beat them.”

John Askey’s men have lost five of their last six games National League games and find themselves nine points adrift of the top five.

A win at the weekend could see their promotion hopes reignited, but the visitors will have to overcome opposition that has proved to be stubborn in recent weeks.

Despite sitting just one point above the relegation zone, Alty have claimed credible draws against Wrexham and Lincoln in previous outings and have lost just one of their last six games.

Wins for Lee Sinnott’s side have been few and far between, however, and the 50-year-old will be hoping for a second victory in 12 games against his North-West neighbours.

A re-enactment of last season’s 1-0 victory will do The Robins’ boss just fine, whilst his side were also victorious by the same scoreline in an FA Trophy tie.

Meanwhile, Macc will be hoping for a repeat of their 3-0 victory at Moss Rose earlier in the season, in which Kristian Dennis, Danny Whittaker and Chris Holroyd got the goals.

Stockport County loanee Dennis is the league’s second highest goalscorer this season with 22 goals; more than double that of Altrincham’s leading man Michael Rankine (10).

However it remains to be seen if form will count for anything in this derby clash, with both sides having plenty to play for as the season approaches boiling points.

Provisional squads

Altrincham: Deasy, Sinnott, Griffin, Leather, Moult, Holness, Havern, Crowther, Reeves, O’Keefe, Ginnelly, Lawrie, Rankine, Heathcote, Williams, Margetts.

Macclesfield: Jalal, Halls, Pilkington, Lewis, Fitzpatrick, Diagne, Turnbull, Whitehead, Whitaker, Phillips, Dennis, Branagan, McCombe, Bailey-Jones, Cowan, Styche.

By Ashley Thornton Jones

This game will form part of tomorrow’s #FootballLIVE blog, don’t forget to join us from 2pm!

We’ll bring you news of any postponements across the region on our Twitter feed @QuaysNews

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