WORCESTER City’s Stuart Whitehead is clinging to the hope he can savour the joy of being in the play-offs for the second season running.

The centre-half led Telford United into the Blue Square Bet North top five, and subsequent promotion, last season and, having joined City in January, he wants to experience it again.

Easter Monday’s 3-0 defeat at Nuneaton Town has made it an uphill task but Carl Heeley’s team are still in the mix with three games to go, starting against Hinckley United at St George’s Lane today (3pm).

Whitehead said: “To get promoted through the play-offs is almost better than winning the league because they are great games with great atmospheres that will live long in my memory. It would be fantastic if that could come around with Worcester.

“It would be a shame if we didn’t make it because the players have been fantastic all season.”

Whitehead returned to the team at Nuneaton having been rested for the 1-0 win over Eastwood Town last Saturday. Although he feels the players failed to do themselves justice at Liberty Way, he believes they are more than capable of rediscovering the form that has seen them win seven of their last 13 league matches.

The 35-year-old said: “We all let ourselves down at Nuneaton.

“I don’t think anybody came out with credit which was a shame.

“We went there on the back of some great form which is everything in the latter part of the season.

“Unfortunately, before we knew it, we were 3-0 down and it was a big ask to get back in it and they closed up shop.

“It was disappointing because we expected so much from the occasion and came away with nothing.

“We have got to win our last three games to have a chance but this is a small blip. Everybody was devastated afterwards because we let it slip but there’s nothing we can do about it now.

“We have to focus on winning the last three games.”