Assistant-manager Aeon Lattie believes the first division north promotion race is wide open with as many as ten clubs fighting to get into the play-off places behind Darlington.
The Quakers are level on 50 points with Northwich and Salford but have played three matches fewer.
“Our away form needs to improve. That’s where our problem is,” he commented. “Luckily, we’ve been to most of the top clubs apart from Darlington so we’ll have home advantage in the second half of the season.
“But at the same time we always seem to struggle to put out a full team. The suspensions had just about cleared and then Ciaran Kilheeny was unavailable because his missus had gone into labour.
“If it’s not one thing it’s another. I’m waiting for a flu epidemic to break out.”
The Bloods’ Christmas results bear out Lattie’s concerns. They lost at promotion rivals Northwich and Farsley, as well as drawing at Prescot. Yet in between they beat highly-rated Salford City at the Butchers Arms. The following day, Salford manager Phil Power was sacked.
On Saturday, Droylsden are again away, this time to midtable Clitheroe, and a good result is vital if they are not to fall off the promotion pace.
Lattie added: “We’ve been a bit lucky because some of the results have gone for us. Farsley have lost a couple and were even beaten by New Mills who are down at the bottom.
“The Salford game was very tough and took a lot out of us. We struggled to get the match on and because of the weather the pitch cut up badly towards the end. Then we got Prescot right after it and they’re a lot better than their league position suggests. If they can hang on to their players I see them finishing in midtable.
“I believe the promotion race will go right to the wire. We’ve got 16 games left - which is just about one a week. We’ve got to prepare for them as well as we can and see where that takes us.”