WORCESTER City are confident of stretching their unbeaten run to nine games when they visit Havant and Waterlooville in the Dr Martens League Premier Division tomorrow (3pm).

City's impressive sequence of six wins and two draws has taken them into fourth place in the table and into the semi-finals of the Dr Martens Cup.

And manager John Barton says the chief reason for their improved form has been the fact that he has had most of his squad available, with his long injury list shrinking by the week.

He said: "Nathan Jukes and Ian Reed are out long-term, but we have near enough made a full recovery from the horrendous spate of injuries we had prior to the Crawley game.

"The people that have the shirts have seen other players become available and ready for selection. A competitive element has been present, and we would like to think it has been a major factor in our improved run."

If City avoid defeat tomorrow it will be their longest unbeaten run since Barton took over as manager.

Havant, who are 15th in the table but with games in hand on everybody else, are the only side City have not yet faced this season, and Barton added: "We have had some mixed reports about them.

"But it would be foolish for us to look at the league table and be lulled into thinking there will be some easy pickings there. They have people there that on their day can give us and everybody else a problem.

"But as we have been saying for a few weeks now, we have a bit of confidence and belief grows with winning games, as does team spirit."

City's only doubt is Paul Carty, who switched to right-back in last week's win at Folkestone. He was unable to train last night because of a 'flu-type virus, but Barton is hopeful he will be fit.

The pitch at West Leigh Park tomorrow is likely to be a mudheap, but City will not be worried by that. Barton said: "We will have that to contend with, but we have had similar conditions at several games in recent weeks and we have coped with them quite well.

"It is about what happens on the day. We can talk as long as we like before the game, but it is what happens after 3pm and decisions that are made in certain situations that can decide games.

"But recently we have made more right decisions on the pitch than wrong ones, and that is why we have had a decent run."

Worcester (from): McDonnell, Carty, Bradley, Greenman, Weir, Cottrill, Heeley, Ellis, Lutz, Owen, Shepherd, M. Wyatt, Burrow, Tucker, Hyde, Joyce, Burns, Cotter, P. Wyatt.