Barrow AFC chief executive Levi Gill believes the Bluebirds will be all the stronger for having the “spine” of their team back intact.

The Holker Street director says he expects David Dunn and his team to be “comfortable” in League Two once key men are back available.

Gill has praised Barrow for their performances since last season’s historic promotion even though AFC are seeking their first victory.

Three draws in respective competitions were followed by last weekend’s first defeat at Newport, with Dunn’s side hosting Colchester this Saturday.

The Bluebirds boss has had to cope without a number of senior players so far although one – main marksman Scott Quigley – is available for this weekend’s game.

Sidelined players such as Matty Platt and Patrick Brough have reduced Dunn’s options and Gill said their return will only help AFC make the progress they require back in the EFL.

He said: “I think we have got to remember that, last season, when we had such a great season, we didn’t really have any injuries at all – we were lucky in that respect.

“Whereas this year so far, we’ve had the spine of the team either injured or suspended.

“Scott Quigley has been suspended, Matty Platt and others have been injured and we didn’t have that at all last season.

“It is going to take a few weeks for everyone to come back, but so far we have done well.

“In both the league games we haven’t looked out of place, we have done well and when we get everyone back I am confident that we will be comfortable in League Two.”

Quigley’s return will come as a major boost with the striker having now served the three-game suspension which he incurred in the final game of the curtailed 2019/20 campaign.

Both clubs are preparing for the game in a climate of continued uncertainty facing the lower-league game after the announcement that fans will not be back in grounds for the foreseeable.

Gill has sought to reassure fans that Barrow can weather the storm of Covid-19 and will be ready to “press ahead with our exciting vision” for the club once the worst of the crisis is over.

In the meantime, it will continue to be behind-closed-doors games at the Progression Solicitors Stadium with fans left to rely on iFollow streaming to watch AFC.

Dunn’s side will this weekend bid to become the first to score against Colchester in League Two this season after the Essex side drew 0-0 at Bradford before beating Ian Evatt’s Bolton 2-0.