CLITHEROE boss Carl Garner hopes to add some experience and know-how to help his young squad at a testing time.
The Blues lost 6-2 at home to AFC Fylde on Saturday as they struggle to move away from the wrong end of the table.
Garner has put his faith in youth, but has accepted the time has come to supplement their talent with strong leaders.
They are hard to come by, however - although he has moved to bring former Blue Owen Roberts back to the club from Radcliffe Borough.
Garner is also hoping to attract another one-time Clitheroe star back to Shawbridge, who is currently plying his trade in the Blue Square North.
He said: “We’re not a million miles away, but I’ve had this ethos of bringing in young players, and I think we need more experience now - we need a better mix.
“We lack those leadership qualities and we are probably too young.
“This experience will ultimately help everyone - me as a manager, and the players as well.
“But they need some help at the moment.
“It’s down to me, we’ve got to take the hit and move on.
“The people at the club are backing us, we’re working hard and training well, we’re just not enjoying being at the wrong end of the table.”
Things don’t get any easier for Clitheroe either.
Having recently faced top four sides Farsley, Curzon Ashton and Fylde, Lancaster City are next up at the Giant Axe on Boxing Day, before the Blues take on Durham City on their all-weather pitch.
Garner looked ahead: “We’re not ducking it, we know they are tough games, but we’ll give a few players the chance to impress who haven’t had opportunities of late, and I’m working hard to bring more in.
“Owen is back and will make his debut on Boxing Day, and hopefully I can bring a leader into the camp as well, although I seem to be hitting a wall with that.
“But if we can get five or six wins, we should be comfortable and look forward.”
On Saturday, Ash Parillon’s goal was sandwiched by two strikes from the visitors as Fylde went in 2-1 up - although Josh Hine had two one-on-ones before the break.
The Blues then hit the bar before Fylde broke to make it 3-1, and the visitors added two more before Lee Pugh - brother of Bournemouth wideman Marc - pulled one back.
Fylde netted a late sixth, and Garner admitted: “I think they will win the league. We had a go, but there were a few turning points, and once they went 3-1 up, they settled and we couldn’t cope.
“I think they’re the best side we’ve played, and you could see their budget was five times more than ours - it was like someone like Bolton taking on Manchester City.
“We matched them, or were better than them, for periods, but their winger Richard Allen gave the best individual performance I’ve seen at this level in many years.
“We have to take the positives and move forward.”