After getting knocked out of the FA Cup prematurely, Barrow AFC face a weekend without a competitive fixture, with the first round taking place without them.

Ian Evatt’s side blew a 2-0 half-time lead in their defeat at Chorley in the fourth qualifying round last month to make it two seasons in a row the Bluebirds have been dumped out by lower-league opposition at that stage.

The fact the Magpies were given an attractive home tie against League One team Doncaster Rovers only served to rub in what AFC missed out on.

While the break does allow their players to recover, including the eight injured players, midfielder John Rooney admits he would rather have still been involved in the world’s oldest cup competition.

Rooney said: “There’s been a lot of games early on in the season, but obviously you want to be playing this Saturday in the FA Cup.

“It’s disappointing we got knocked out of that, but the two weeks does give the lads a bit of time to recover either from injuries or from playing a lot of minutes.

“It will allow them to get their legs back a bit and stuff like that.

“Obviously you want to be playing in the FA Cup, but we’ve got a lot of stuff to work at on the training ground for us to take on into the games ahead.”

Barrow’s players will at least have the chance to keep themselves ticking over in a friendly against the club’s under-21 team at Holker Street tomorrow night, even if it will be a match of lesser intensity.

Whether it has come too soon for striker Rhys Turner to make a comeback from the fractured foot that kept him out for nearly three months remains to be seen, but the game is a chance for AFC’s youngsters to impress Evatt.

Whatever the case, the AFC boss should have more bodies to choose from when they return to National League action at home to Eastleigh the following week.

“We’ve got a few injuries and we have two weeks to get a few of them back and hopefully we’ll have a few of them back for the next home game,” Rooney said.

“It feels like a while off at the moment, but when that next home game does come around, I think getting the three points will be a must for us.”