NEW Kidderminster boss Mark Yates has praised the attitude of his players after their hard work on the training pitch this week.

Yates will take charge of his first game since returning to the Aggborough dugout when play-off rivals Chester visit this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

He was handed extra time to work with the group after last weekend's trip to Ashton United fell victim to a frozen pitch and has been delighted with how the squad has embraced his approach.

He said: "I wasn't going to be at the Ashton game, we have a few injuries at the moment and it gave us chance to work with the group for another week, so I was delighted the game didn't go ahead.

"It gave us that chance to work with the players even more and we've had another really good week.

"The lads have shown the right attitude and ability and I'm really pleased with them. We've worked them really hard but I've also tried to get into their heads a little as well.

"It has been about simplifying things and giving them a clear way of playing.

"They have showed real signs of what we are after.

"Hopefully we can now repeat our showing on the training pitch when we come up against Chester this Saturday.

"Their form since Christmas probably mirrors ours a little and they are a team that are in and around the play-off places as well.

"We'll concentrate on ourselves because if we can perform well and work hard then we know we have the ability to go with that.

Harriers will be handed a big boost with the news that key midfielder Ed Williams should be able to play some part in the contest following an injury lay-off.

Meanwhile, young defender Harry Higginson has signed a first professional contract with the club this week.

The 20-year-old has made a big impression in the first team this season, not least on his first start when he helped the side earn a clean sheet in the 1-0 win at AFC Telford United.

Higginson is a home-grown prospect, playing pivotal roles in both the U19 Academy team and, this term, the table-topping U23s outfit.

Boss Yates praised the defender as well as the club's work to develop young players.

He added: "Harry is a really good, young prospect. He's come in and been involved with the first team squad this year and done really well when he's got the chance.

"He has the right attitude and the ability but the hard work really starts now for him.

"He's an important signing but he also shows other young players that the pathway is there for them."