DUDLEY Kingswinford face a "season defining" January according to director of rugby Neil Shillingford.

The Heathbrook chief wants his players to come out firing when the action gets back underway in 2018.

DK sit level on points with leaders Burton after they put Sutton Coldfield to the sword to end last year on a high.

They will return to action following the festive break with a tough trip to local rivals Wolverhampton on Saturday, January 6.

That will be followed by massive clashes with both Burton and third-placed Bromsgrove.

Bromsgrove will first visit Heathbrook on January 13 before the barnstorming trip to Burton a week later.

Shillingford said: "It will definitely be a defining month for us.

"I think we could maybe afford to slip up with one of them because of the play-off option, but if we could pull off some big results then we really would be in a great position.

"We couldn't ask for a better start to that run than facing Wolverhampton.

"It's a tough game, a local derby and it should quickly refocus the minds after the break.

"They'll be up for it and will be trying to knock us down a little so we'll have to hit the ground running."

Shillingford is pleased with his selection options heading into the new year.

He added: "The seconds had another good result and it shows the options we have now.

"It bodes well because we had 10 or 12 other players that could have stepped in."