Rhys Norrington-Davies is pleased Barrow AFC’s players were able to reward Ian Evatt’s faith in them, after their form in December earned him the National League’s Manager of the Month award.

The wing-back is one of the players in the Bluebirds’ squad who has been given his first shot at senior football this season, with the 19-year-old’s loan from Sheffield United proving to be a real success.

He played a big part in what was an excellent end to 2018 for AFC, as they picked up 13 points from a possible 15 in the league to move themselves into the top half.

Evatt’s side are now hoping they can put together another good run of form that will allow them to put pressure on the teams in the play-off places, starting with FC Halifax Town’s visit to Holker Street tomorrow.

Norrington-Davies said: “It’s obviously great to see the manager picking up the Manager of the Month.

“We as players have worked hard for him and he’s backed us – backed everyone, really – from the starting 11 to the players not in the squad to the players on the bench, so it is great for him individually.”

Norrington-Davies is one of the players who has really benefitted from the switch to playing three at the back that was implemented by Evatt just before AFC went on their eight-game unbeaten run in the league.

Playing as a wing-back was something he was already familiar with and his ability to bomb up and down the left, maintaining his energy for 90 minutes, has made him a stand-out performer.

“At Sheffield United, I was used to playing 3-5-2,” Norrington-Davies said, adding: “Since we’ve changed to that at Barrow, it’s been a bit more expansive.

“It lets you, when in possession, attack more, so you’re more of a winger, but when defending, you’ve got a solid back five and you’re hard to break down, so it works in both ways.

“That’s my game - ‘ratting,’ obviously getting stuck in and just using my energy to get forward and recover at the same time.”

Saturday will be the first time Norrington-Davies has faced Halifax this season, as he hadn’t signed at the time of August’s reverse fixture, while he missed last month’s FA Trophy defeat due to suspension.

The Wales under-21 international can’t wait to get back on to the field, as it finally brings to an end Barrow’s two-week wait for a chance to make amends for the loss at Havant & Waterlooville.

Norrington-Davies said: “These two weeks off has allowed us to regroup. Obviously, we’ve been working hard in training, but we’ve had the time off, so we’re feeling fresh again.

“We’re looking forward to the game and hopefully we can put things right, pick up three points and keep pushing up the table.”