Josh Barton: Can you sum up this enforced break? As someone who I know lives and breathes football, how have you found it?

Jake McCarthy: It’s obviously been difficult in terms of football. Coming off the back of a great win at Stockport, it would have been great to keep the games rolling and keep the momentum going. I’ve tried my best to keep myself ticking over, whether it’s up the local park or just on the field, or even in the garden. I was extremely pleased to get back in and see the boys and train the other day.

JB: As a squad, how do you assess the start to our season back in the National League as we move towards Christmas?

JM: I think it’s been a difficult start. It was never going to be easy stepping up to this level. I felt we were playing well in games but ultimately still losing. I believe we lost 1-0 three times and they were very close games. We were just lacking that final product in the box. After a great performance at Bromley, then finishing that period beating a definite favourite to be up there come the end of the season in Stockport, it gives us a lot of confidence for the up and coming games.

JB: We know you enjoy coaching. What advice would you give to a young player during these difficult times?

JM: Just to try your best to do whatever you can to get outside and practice with a ball, even if it’s up against a wall or on your own, there is always room to improve. There are many apps out there which give you loads of challenges and tips to improve, such as the Champion player pathway app. (The company I work for when coaching)

JB: We are due to finally return to action on Saturday for the visit of Chesterfield. I would imagine the lads will be looking forward to a return to competitive football?

JM: 100% we are all raring to go again. We had a good run out Saturday just gone, in an in-house friendly. This gave everyone a chance to get 90 mins. The squad is looking sharp in training and we are looking forward to keeping the winning momentum going.

JB: There has been some good news on fans returning to stadiums in the near future. It’s not the same without them and that’s something everyone can agree on. How do you find behind closed doors games personally?

JM: For me personally, and I know the team as a whole can’t wait to get the Bob Lucas back full and have all our fans back. They have been such a massive part of all the success over the last few years and they really do give us that extra 10% when we need it. Scoring a goal or winning a game is never the same without fans, they make football the game we all love. Fingers crossed our fans are back sooner rather than later.

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