Blues assistant boss Dave Hughes is hoping to draw on the experiences of his past in a bid to aid Clitheroe’s future in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
Paul Moore’s right hand man was faced with the same predicament when manager of Atherton LR in the North West Counties, but worked tirelessly to change the club’s fortunes and guide them to safety.
Now Hughes is determined to contribute to a resurgence at Shawbridge with the Blues languishing in the lower echelons of the division having won just two fixtures in 11 league outings.
“I’ve personally been in this situation before as manager at Atherton LR,” Hughes said. “We stayed up on that occasion because we turned it around. It’s important to stay strong, both physically and mentally, and keep the dressing room positive.”
Clitheroe’s latest result saw them dumped out of the FA Trophy following a 3-0 loss to Radcliffe Borough in a replay at Stainton Park. A Kevin Towey brace and a Robert Bodie strike in the tie at Shawbridge had given the Blues the advantage, but Boro fought back to force a 3-3 draw.
“It’s not been good recently,” Hughes said. “We are on a bad run of form. The performances haven’t been the best and that obviously affects the results. We’ve had players unavailable, others injured and some out of form. If it could go wrong it has done.
“We just got to keep working hard and training hard in hope of turning it around. Paul is trying his best to bring in players to strengthen the squad but it’s difficult at this stage of the season because players are settling down and establishing themselves at their respective clubs.
“There’s a catalogue of factors that kick in but there’s no magic wand or quick fix.”
The Blues take on Kendal Town on home soil on Saturday with kick-off at 3 p.m. having lost 2-0 to the same opponents in a league clash at the end of September. Hughes is now hoping that this could be the fixture where his side’s luck will change.
“Luck will eventually change and things will start to go our way,” he said. “Myself and Paul are doing everything we can to change things. I’m hoping to draw from my past and learn from that and bring it to Clitheroe. It’s a fact that teams and players in sport lose confidence but I’m certain that we’ll turn it around. We are not making excuses, it’s just an honest assessment of the situation.”
After the weekend, the Blues will then host Wigan Robin Park in the first round of the Lancashire FA Trophy on Tuesday with kick-off at 7-45 p.m.