WINGER Ryan Winwood believes game time at the weekend with Tipton Town will be beneficial in his bid to regain his starting position in Ian Long’s side.

Winwood was loaned out to Town last week and played in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Long Eaton alongside former Tividale duo Jack Hayfield and Ben Hadley, with the latter scoring Tipton’s solitary goal in Nottinghamshire.

And the former West Bromwich Albion academy star is happy to get some minutes under his belt.

“It was good to get on the pitch and playing with Tipton at the weekend.

“I had a chat with Ian Long (Manager) and we decided it would be best served spending some time out on loan, as I did earlier in the season.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result but the minutes on the field were a step in the right direction for me.”

Winwood, 19, has been unavailable for Tivi for much of the past three months due to non-footballing reasons but hopes that he can regain his place in Ian Long’s starting eleven sooner rather than later.

“The last time I featured in the first team for a League game was Kidsgrove on the first day of November and it’s really frustrating.

“Hopefully, in the coming weeks, I will be back in and around the first team scene and getting back onto the field.

And Winwood thinks ‘Dale’s players should be proud of their efforts since the 3-1 home defeat to Gresley just before Christmas, a performance much criticised by Manager Ian Long at the time.

He added “The manager was not happy with us in the lead up to the festive period.

“He felt we were letting ourselves down and credit to my teammates for their response and the turn around in both performance and results.

“Let’s hope that form continues between now and the end of the season – I want to be part of that, too.”