ANDY Ellis says it will be next season before Worcester City fans see him back to his best.

The experienced midfielder, who recently returned to action after a year out with a broken leg, has turned in several impressive performances since his comeback - most notably in last week's win at Folkestone.

But he says he's still not back to the level of fitness he needs to perform to his full potential.

He said: "I think it will be a while. What I really need is a good pre-season.

"I don't think I will recover fitness properly until next year, but I'm not far away now.

"On these heavy pitches we are having at the moment, it is harder and harder. But I am quite pleased with how it has been going."

The 34-year-old former Woking player echoes his team-mates' frustration that they are not having a bigger say in the title race, blaming a lack of consistency earlier in the season.

They are now one of the in-form sides in the league, having gone eight games without defeat and standing in fourth place before today's games, with two cup semi-finals to look forward to.

Ellis added: "If only we had picked up points in the games we lost against Fisher and Dorchester, it might have been a different story.

"It is nice to go a while without losing, and long may it continue. The higher we finish the better for us, and we certainly want to finish as high as possible.

"Other teams have games in hand, but all we can do is just keep winning games and hope the others slip up."

Ellis believes City have the ability in their squad to mount a strong title challenge.

"That has been shown by when we play well and play good football, we are as good as anyone in this league. It is a question of finding some consistency.

"Hopefully we have that now, and that is what we need next season if we want to challenge for the league."