Blues boss Lee Ashforth may have to bring in some new faces

Photo: David Hurst'Chorley FC V Clitheroe FC'Josh Gregory and George West
Photo: David Hurst'Chorley FC V Clitheroe FC'Josh Gregory and George West
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Blues boss Lee Ashforth accepts that he may have to delve in to the transfer market in a bid to bolster his depleted squad.

The former Ossett Town boss has had no option but to improvise in recent weeks after being hit with somewhat of an injury crisis.

Comparing the situation to a scene from Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award winning film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, Ashforth was forced to act as he enticed forward George West back for a second spell at Shawbridge.

“It’s like Saving Private Ryan in there at the minute because there’s that many strapped up,” he said. “We’re just on a really bad run of injuries.

“We need to keep that togetherness and we’ll get the players working with the physio. It would be daft if we had the week off because we’d be going back to square one.

“We’ll have a look at it, see if we need to bring a player in, which I don’t particularly want to do at the moment.

“But if a player does become available, similarly to how George West did this week, then we might decide to take him.

“We’re not actively looking but as a management team, if there’s somebody who can come in and improve what we’ve got then we’ll do that. We can’t spend massive amounts on a player.”

The extensive injury list has opened up a window of opportunity for other players to impress, including James Sloane.

The forward may have played his way back in to the thinking following his dismissal in the 7-0 thumping against Radcliffe FC.

Ashforth said: “We’ll reassess. James Sloane has been suspended for three games, he wasn’t part of my plans because I was fuming with him after that game.

“He got lucky with the injuries and got in the squad and he got lucky again. He’s come on and got 15 minutes and he’s looked really sharp. He’s suddenly back in the plans again.

“He’s shown a good attitude but we have got a good squad in terms of attitude. They’re all working really hard and they want to play football.”

With Clitheroe now on 20 points in the Evo-Stik West Division table, eight points clear of the bottom two, Ashforth is now targeting the next milestone that should secure safety.

“We’re at 20 points and now we’ll look to reach the 30 point mark that I think would see us safe,” he said.

“We’re now eight points clear from the bottom two so the gap is getting bigger. Another couple of wins then you’ll think we’re going to be safe.

“We’ve got to pick up some points in the next 15 games. We’ve got 17 from 17 since we’ve come in and if we do that then we’ll be safe and we can look to build for next season.”

The Blues are without a game this weekend but travel to the Lyme Valley Stadium to take on Newcastle Town on Saturday, January 19th with kick off at 3 p.m.