Blues boss determined to make a push for the play-offs in 2016!

The Blues were hit with three postponements in December including the game against Bamber Bridge on Boxing Day
The Blues were hit with three postponements in December including the game against Bamber Bridge on Boxing Day

Blues boss Simon Garner has vowed that his players will push as hard as they can to defy the odds and finish the season in the top five.

Clitheroe will enter 2016 just outside the play-off spots in the Evo-Stik First Division North standings following a remarkable season to date.

Shawbridge’s warriors have taken to battle like David versus Goliath up to the halfway stage as they sit sixth with 35 points while they are the only club who can lay claim to toppling leaders Northwich Victoria.

“We’re halfway in to the season and I’m happy with where we are heading in to the New Year,” said Garner, whose side have endured three postponements in December.

“Hopefully we can improve on that and grab fifth spot.

“It’s going to be a tough task because there’s a lot of teams challenging for the top five.

“I would’ve taken this at the start of the season so I can’t complain but we’ve got to keep working hard if we want to be there at the end of the season.

“The job isn’t done yet but I know we’ll do our best to grab that play-off spot. I’m really happy, though looking back I can’t help but feel that we could’ve done slightly better.

“I still think there’s room for improvement. Hopefully we can kick on over the second half of the season.”

Ahead of Saturday’s game with second place Warrington Town on home soil, kick-off 3 p.m., Garner added: “You’ve always got to try and step it up because everyone else in the league will be looking to get better.

“We can’t afford to rest on our laurels. We’ve got to go one better and we’ve got to compete with every team every week.

“It will be a huge test of character for the squad because we’ve got a lot of games to catch up with against tough teams on difficult pitches.

“They’ll have to try and perform consistently. I think we’ll have to add because the squad is sparse. We’ll look to bring a couple in to bolster the numbers.

“Finishing in the play-offs would be up there in what I’ve achieved in my career. Management is a lot harder than just playing so anything I achieve would be big.

“It was easier as a player because you looked after yourself but I’m in charge of a team now.

“It’s not about the individual anymore. It would be a massive achievement for the team if we got in to the play-offs.

“It’s what we’ve got to aim for. Nothing is guaranteed but we’ll push as hard as we can to get there.”