The competition for a place in Barrow AFC’s midfield is as strong as it’s ever been under manager Ian Evatt, according to Jason Taylor.

Taylor was the Bluebirds’ Player of the Year last season and was as close to an automatic choice as you can get, as Evatt didn’t have many with the 32-year-old’s kind of drive from the middle of the park at the time.

Since then, John Rooney’s form has taken off in a big way, while the form of Blackburn loanee Tom White has occasionally meant Lewis Hardcastle, a proper box-to-box midfielder, has had to make do with a place on the bench.

On the standard of AFC’s engine room, Taylor said: “Obviously, it’s a good problem for the manage to have. We've got great strength in depth now throughout the squad.

"People are pushing each other on and I think it's healthy and regarding training performances it's pushing people's standards higher. It's keeping everyone on their toes because we know that if you produce one bad performance you could be out of the team the following weekend."

White is the most recent addition to Barrow's midfield after signing on loan from Blackburn Rovers in November, with that deal now running until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old's quality on the ball has been a reason why the Bluebirds have managed to remain on top of the National League for over two months.

Taylor said: "Whitey has been excellent since he's been here. I think he's got better as the weeks have gone by because his fitness has got better.

"He keeps the ball in really tight areas and he's a young lad who is really enthusiastic and has settled into the group really well - there are a lot of lads here who are around his age and he seems to get on well with a lot of the boys, which is a bonus."

Barrow are still waiting as to who they'll be facing in the third round of the FA Trophy after the second round replay between Barnet and Farsley Celtic was postponed for a second time on Tuesday night, this time due to a frozen goalmouth at The Hive.