Barrow AFC manager Ian Evatt is concerned at the state of the pitch at Holker Street, which took a battering after staging three games in the space of a week.

The surface cut up during the 7-0 thrashing of FC United of Manchester in the FA Trophy last Saturday, the first half of which was played in perhaps the worst conditions of any Bluebirds match this season.

It had been fairly wet for most of the week leading up to the tie as well, during which Ebbsfleet United and Atherton Collieries also faced AFC on their own patch.

The grass only has another four days to recover, as Barrow will be hosting fourth-placed Bromley on Saturday, when Evatt’s side will have the chance to put an eight-point gap between them and the Ravens should they claim yet another victory.

Evatt said: “I’ll be honest, I’m slightly worried about that because we’ve still got nine very big league games to come on that pitch and it just doesn’t seem as good as it was last year.

“It was wet and heavy out there on Saturday and there are lots of divots, so hopefully the groundsman can really go and work his magic this week because the pitch is a vital part of what we do.”

An important part of the Bluebirds’ performance against FC United was the way they kept that pitch big, with wing-backs Brad Barry and Josh Kay both on the scoresheet on an afternoon where they ran the visitors ragged.

They were helped by the Red Rebels leaving more space in behind them than most away sides at Holker Street have this season, but Evatt was pleased with the way his players exploited that.

He said: “In possession, we trust everyone with the ball, so we make the pitch really big and expansive, but as soon as we give it away they must be fast in transition, so you cannot have any disappointments when somebody gives the ball away.

“They need to go and hunt in packs straight away and we did that really well, we put pressure on the ball, we won it back in good areas and the transition was that they were open and we could just play through them.”

Given it had only been a week since Barrow had smashed Ebbsfleet by the same scoreline, it was no surprise to Evatt that his team were in such rampant form again.

He said: “Seeing what my boys can do it not a shock because I see it every day and I’ve been bleating on about it.

“We do that to National League teams and no disrespect to them, they’re two league below us, even though they’ve been doing really well - they’d not lost in 15 games.

“We’ve had opportunities to score six or seven goals before and we’ve not quite done it, but we’ve shown the improvement is coming in terms of being ruthless in front of goal.”