Defender Matt Elsdon believes Barrow AFC’s next couple of games are a big opportunity for him to finally establish himself in the team after a campaign disrupted by injuries.

The 0-0 draw against FC Halifax Town last Saturday marked only Elsdon’s third competitive appearance for the Bluebirds since his move from Middlesbrough last summer, which bizarrely have all come against the Shaymen.

The 21-year-old ended up missing four months of first-team action after injuring his knee on his debut in the away fixture in August and a virus kept him out after his return in the FA Trophy tie last month.

Elsdon admitted to feeling leggy by the end of the match, due to his lack of football, but with Kyle Jameson’s suspension running into the games against Chesterfield and Bromley, it has given him an opening he is keen to make the most of.

Elsdon said: “It’s a huge chance and as long as I get a good run of games and get my sharpness back, I think I’ll be good to go.

“I think these next few weeks are massive for us because we need to start picking up wins if we’re going to challenge for those play-off spots.”

If Barrow are to make inroads into the nine-point gap that currently separates them and seventh-placed Harrogate Town, then they’ll need to improve on their display against Halifax when they travel to Chesterfield this weekend.

In what was their first match for two weeks, the Bluebirds struggled to find their rhythm against the Shaymen, who were the only side who mustered a shot on target during what was a forgettable encounter.

Elsdon said: “I think it was a well-earned point in the end. In the first half, I thought we were far off where we’ve been in the last few weeks.

“We could have got on the ball a lot more in the first half, but towards the end of the second half we started to look more like where been in recent weeks.

“It still needed to be a lot better than it was on the day because we weren’t really at the races.”

While it was not the performance they were looking for, Elsdon believes the result still gave an indication of how AFC have developed as a team since overcoming a five-game losing streak in the league by embarking on a recent eight-match unbeaten run.

He said: “I think if you look back maybe a couple of months ago, I think we would have come away with us losing the game, when we weren’t quite as solid at the back.

“We kept it tight at the back [against Halifax] and obviously kept a clean sheet, which is always a good thing.”