STEVE Connors will return from injury on Saturday to help Witton Albion make a vital correction to their season.
Since they lost six players, all within a fortnight, they have suffered two embarrassing defeats, at Ossett and Blyth, which have cost Albion a place in the promotion play-off positions.
But Connors, who last week turned down a move to Burscough, returns after a ligament injury and his battling qualities will be much in demand as Witton host Runcorn Halton in the UniBond League Cup quarter-finals especially as two other players have to dip out.
Centre back Tom Spearitt is suspended and new striker Dave Whittaker is cup tied.
A cup tie buys Witton a little more time to adjust to a cluster of new signings, but their absence is counter productive. Veteran Simon Hughes will stand in for Spearitt, who was signed from Runcorn in the summer.
Manager Jim Vince said: 'You cannot lose so many players and expect the team to perform exactly as they had been doing.
'We are in a mini-slump, but we are sixth in the league, in one final and in the quarter finals of another competition and have a lot to play for.
'If we were in the bottom three and in a mini-slump then I would be disappointed.
'The type of football we are playing is different than just few weeks ago. But I believe the players are good. If they don't gel then I will have questions but I shall take responsibility.
'Things will change especially when we collectively get back to doing what we should be doing and we are working hard in training to do just that.'
A minor boost for Vince is the recovery, albeit slow, of broken leg victims Gary Furnival and Adam Foy.
Furnival, injured 10 months ago, played 80 minutes of a Mid Cheshire League match at the weekend while midfielder Foy is about six weeks away from resuming light training.