BLUES boss Carl Garner has warned Clitheroe will pose a more physical threat as they look to distance themselves from a basement battle.
Garner’s philosophy at Shawbridge has been the promotion of an intricate and attractive brand of football.
But, while those elements of the game won’t be completely dissolved, there will be an emphasis on a battling and physical attitude.
“There’s going to be more of an emphasis on the physicality of the team,” Garner said.
“We’ve lacked that physical presence on occasions, and it’s cost us. The next 13 games will certainly be different.
“There may be one or two additions before next week, and hopefully they will add more strength and experience.
“At the moment we need to be matching teams pound for pound.”
Parading his first-choice XI has been somewhat of a rarity this season for Garner but, for only the second time in six months, he finds himself with the luxury of a fully-fit squad going in to Saturday’s game at home to Woodley Sports.
“It’s a refreshing change,” Garner said.
“It’s great to have a full team at my disposal.
“It gives me the chance to adapt things, and one or two players are already working towards a new role within the team in a bid to make us a stronger proposition.
“I’ve got my captain Kev Brown back after a month out, Ash Parillon who has been missing for a couple of games, and new signings Nat Taylor and John Osemwegie who haven’t made their debuts yet.
“And there’s Chris McGrail as well.”
The Blues boast just one win in five, drawing their last two encounters against Mossley and Wakefield.
The wintry weather prevented Clitheroe putting things right at the weekend but Garner says the mood, intensity and preparation for the visit of Woodley Sports has been spot on.
“The mood in the squad is really good at the moment,” he said. “We were off at the weekend like most sides, so we’ve had four sessions together.
“I’ve got everyone back fit and available now for only the second time this season.
“The intensity has been great and we’re looking forward to getting cracking again.
“I’ll be ringing the changes as well – I’ll probably be making about five changes from the draw against Wakefield.
“There will be a slight alteration to the way we play.
“We’ve drawn our last two games, the important thing being we haven’t got beat.
“The young lads have done great and they will still get opportunities no doubt about it.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the lads that have been playing.”
Garner feels the change in personnel will give his young guns the necessary time away from the firing line. He admits that comments had been made towards his starlets verbally and via the medium of an unofficial forum and the issue was due to be discussed at the club’s open meeting yesterday.
“Some of the kids need to be taken out of the firing line,” Garner claimed.
“There has not been a good atmosphere for them to play in and it’s not helping with their development at all.”
Recent form may have riled small sections of supporters, but the Clitheroe chief has made it clear that relegation isn’t on the minds of his players.
He said: “We’ve got players to add to the pot, we’ve got a clean bill of health, and physically we’re ready to give these last 13 games a good crack.
“Some people are panicking about relegation but we don’t see it that way.”