Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt is pleased to see that the performances of his side have put smiles on people's faces around the town, as they look to attract a bumper crowd into Holker Street on Boxing Day.

The Bluebirds are hopeful of getting more than 3,000 to attend the home game against AFC Fylde, as they continue to defend their position as National League leaders.

They went without a game last Saturday, after their match at Solihull was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, but results elsewhere meant it still turned out to be a good day.

With Bromley losing at home to Eastleigh and Yeovil Town being held to a draw at Fylde, Evatt's men go into Christmas two points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand on the second-placed Glovers.

Evatt said: "One of the biggest challenges for myself was to get the team reconnected with the fans and that happens in a number of ways.

"We need to show the fans that we care, that we're willing to fight and play for Barrow, win football matches and do what we can for the community when we're in and around Barrow.

"We also need to get them on board with the decision-making of the football club and we've done that by getting the Bluebirds Trust on the board, having Levi [Gill] sitting in the meetings, and then there's obviously success on the football pitch, which has helped spread the word.

"We just need to keep growing, the club is such a great place to be at, at the moment, and it's not just the club.

"Everyone around Barrow seems happy and has a smile on their face and it's amazing what football can do in a community."

Evatt has compared the mood to the town where he resides, in which their football team has been struggling for some time.

He said: "Unfortunately, I live in Chesterfield and I say 'unfortunately' because they are really struggling at the minute. The fanbase and the team haven't got that connection.

"It's a sad place to be - there are people miserable and moaning and by contrast in Barrow, people are bouncing and excited, they want to see us play.

"They're talking about the next game, they're talking about us being top of the league and it's amazing to see."