Blues boss Simon Haworth is going back to the drawing board in a bid to find ways of tipping the scales in his side’s favour in the Evo-Stik League.
The former Wigan Athletic striker was welcomed to Shawbridge in the wake of a mass exodus, but has worked wonders in keeping the club at a competitive level.
After eight games, the Blues occupy sixth position in the First Division North, having accumulated 11 points.
Haworth’s men have comprehensively bypassed several big clubs with significantly higher budgets and expectations, but it’s the less ambitious opponents that have proved troublesome.
Clitheroe’s flair and attacking intent has paid dividends in games against Scarborough Athletic, Ramsbottom United, and the weekend game against Droylsden on home soil.
However, the midweek stalemate against Burscough summed up their trials and tribulations against teams that get men behind the ball.
After the 0-0 draw, Haworth said: “There is a sense of frustration because we completely dominated the game, but they just came to sit back and take a point. They got what they wanted.
“It’s just disappointing that we couldn’t break them down. There have been a few teams like that this season that have caused us similar problems, so that’s something we need to work on. We need to find ways to break teams down.
“We’ve hurt teams that come and have a go, and we’ve beaten them well. It’s tough when the opposition get 10 men behind the ball and start asking questions of us. It’s a completely different challenge.
“The last two games have been total contrasts, and they’ve summed up our season so far. We capitalised in an open game against Droylsden, but then failed to find a way through against Burscough.”
Haworth added: “I guess it’s a pat on the back for us in that teams are identifying the need to set up like that. They are just trying to stifle us. We’ll have a look and try to draw up ways of breaking less ambitious teams down.
“An early goal can change everything, but if you don’t get that they start to drop deeper and deeper and it just turns in to a stalemate.
“We lacked ideas and creativity against Burscough, so it’s back to the drawing board. We need to find a way of turning one point in to three.
“However, we didn’t lose and we kept a clean sheet so there are positives to take from the result.”
The Blues have been dominant in the majority of their outings this term but, ahead of the away fixture against Colwyn Bay on Saturday, Haworth is hoping his young side can transform possession in to points.
“We’ve probably out-played every team that we’ve played this season,” he said.
“We just need to get these young boys to understand how to adapt to different conditions and different situations. We need to find a way of getting reward.
“It’s pleasing that we’re sixth and in touching distance of top, but if we can learn quickly then we’ll be even more successful.
“It’s a learning curve for them. There is no lack of effort or enthusiasm, but it’s all about developing their game management.”