The festive season is a time to spend with family and friends but in football it’s also one of the busiest times of the year.

As Stanley prepare for the Boxing Day clash with Carlisle United at the Wham Stadium it’s business as usual out on the training pitch.

But there will be some concessions to Christmas, with a number of the squad who are unable to be with their loved ones spending the season together instead.

“It’s tough mentally and emotionally but with the games coming so thick and fast it does help in that respect,” explained goalkeeper Jason Mooney, who shares a house with team mates Ross Etheridge and Shay McCartan. “It’s hard being away. There’s no substitute for being at home with your family but you just have to get on with it.

“I think me, Ross and Shay will have Christmas dinner in the house. We’ll be training in the morning anyway. I’ll probably be cooking because I’m the most sensible. I think we’ll try and do turkey and the trimmings between us.

“We’ll try not to get food poisoning. Imagine Ross and I both had that!”

The Reds go into the game against the Cumbrians sixth in League Two and just behind their visitors and second placed Northampton who are the opponents on 28th December.

Mooney thinks it could be a crucial period in a push for promotion.

“It’s tight and you can get lots of points on the board over Christmas,” he said. “If you do well over the Christmas period it looks very good for you but if you don’t pick up enough points you can start falling way.”