BLUES boss Paul Moore is more than confident his side has what it takes to challenge for the play-offs this season despite two consecutive defeats.
Clitheroe’s 4-2 defeat to Harrogate Railway Athletic, a week after the 3-2 away defeat away at Cammell Laird, has seen the Shawbridge side slip to fourth in the Evo-Stik League First Division North table.
Moore put the defeat down to a disappointing first half display. The Blues went in at half-time 2-0 down and despite getting it back to 2-2, found the Harrogate keeper in inspired form.
“It was a very poor result,” he said. “We didn’t even look like we were there in the first half. We made two uncharacteristic mistakes and we didn’t even look like troubling their keeper. We were completely rejuvenated in the second half. We pulled two goals back but their keeper has then pulled off four world class saves.
“We were pushing and then they managed to go up the pitch and score. Even at 3-2 though we’ve gone up the pitch and their keeper’s pulled off another great save.
“At the end of the game their manager has come up to me and said we could have easily walked away 6-2 winners. If we’d have scored to make it 3-2 then we would have gone on to easily win the match.”
These two defeats came on the back of six straight victories and Moore is looking to get back on the winning trail this Saturday at home to Garforth Town
He won’t be taking the bottom-placed side in the league for granted though, having seen a lot of teams raise their came in recent weeks against the Blues.
“I think last season when we were getting beat a lot, team were coming to play us and they weren’t scared in the slightest. Now when they see they’re playing Clitheroe they’re thinking ‘oh God, we’ve got Clitheroe this weekend’.
“A lot of teams who come to play us now are trying to close us down quicker and stop us from playing. We’re a team that wants to play. I’m not a kicker, I want the team to play football and that is how we’ll always play. It’s up to us now though to roll up our sleeves, work that little bit harder and start getting results.
“We certainly won’t be taking Garforth for granted. They beat Warrington 4-3 away a few weeks ago and they are not going to be a pushover.
“I would take a 1-0 win right now. I don’t care one little bit about goal difference. It doesn’t matter how many we score or how many we concede as long as we are up there come the end of the season.”
And with nearly half the season now gone, Moore expects his lads to still be up there when the final whistle is blown on the final day of the season.
“We’ve got a very good chance of being in the top five come the end of the season,” he said. “When everybody has played their games in hand we’re still in the play-offs. If I’d have told people at the beginning of the season that we’d be in the top five at Christmas time they would have a laughed at me.
“There’s still a long way to go but if we remain focused and make sure we concentrate then I think we can get there. And if we do get into the play-offs then I know we can beat any of the sides around us on our day.”