Ain’t no stopping us now, insists delighted Clitheroe boss Garner

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BLUES boss Carl Garner believes his young players will have more freedom now the shackles have been cast off.

The Shawbridge chief felt as though his young guns were being held back by the club’s position in the First Division North table.

Clitheroe were languishing in 19th place, but recent results – a 2-2 draw with Skelmersdale United and the 5-1 thumping of basement side Cammell Laird – have seen them climb to 16th.

“The group is so young so they’ve always been bubbly anyway,” said Garner.

“They know there’s not going to be any easy games, but at least they’ve got some belief now and put some points on the board.

“Everyone’s been a bit tense recently, and I think looking at the league table had held them back a bit.”

Victory at the weekend saw Clitheroe establish an eight-point gap above the drop zone, although a considerable gulf separates them from the teams clumped together in mid-table.

However, that remains the next objective for Garner, who said: “We need to push in to the top half now.

“We need to keep picking points up, and claw our way back on the teams above. There will be setbacks, but the future looks fantastic.

“I’ve worked hard to unearth some gems, and it’s been worthwhile.

“I’m really positive about the long-term future – I couldn’t be happier.

“I’ve stuck to my principles, and I’ll keep looking for good, young players.”

The Blues travel to Seel Park on Saturday, where success over Mossley would see them draw level on points with their opponents.

And Garner, who handed full-back Lee Pugh his first start for the club against Cammell Laird, wants his players to continue where they left off.

He said: “We followed up the great result at Skem last week.

“Our opposition last weekend are struggling, and everybody knows that.

“It was a great performance, and we could have won by a bigger margin because we created a bag full of chances.

“It was frustrating at half-time, because we were only 1-0 up despite being totally dominant.

“Lee Pugh made his first start for us, and it was a great debut.

“He scored one and made two. He’s the calibre of player that I’m looking to bring in to the club, and he’ll go from strength to strength.

“The group is coming along fine and the lads are flourishing.

“I think we will have a fantastic squad.”

Last season’s golden boot winner Ashley Parillon continues to raise eyebrows among players, managers and supporters in the Evo-Stik league.

The prolific midfielder took his tally to 10 for the season following his hat-trick at the weekend.

“Ashley Parillon has got 10 goals already this season and it’s not even Christmas yet,” said Garner.

“He’s a massive player for us.

“When his head is clear, and he’s right, Ashley is the best player at this level.

I can’t think of any other player at this level who could score 20 goals plus for Clitheroe from midfield.

“That’s what he gives us. In the final third of the pitch he is just awesome.

“What he brings to us is priceless – he gets in the box at the right time and creates chances.

“The boy could definitely play higher.”

Altrincham’s Matt Fearon is set to join the club on loan this week, while Garner has his sights set on another of the division’s leading lights.

“I’ve put a seven-day notice on a top player from this division,” he said.

“He’ll be a great addition, and he’s one of the most talented players at this level, in my opinion.

“We’ve introduced a trickle of new blood but we’ve kept a good, strong nucleus and they are beginning to gel.

“We just need a sprinkling of quality now to help bring these young players along.”