Clitheroe FC boss Lee Ashforth has told his players that they’re fighting for their futures at the club with just five games of the Evo-Stik League West Division campaign remaining.
The Blues looked like they had turned a corner when taking four points from games against Glossop North End and Trafford, with a late goal denying them the spoils in the latter, but the cracks reappeared in a heavy loss to Market Drayton Town.
A reshuffle, owing to North Ferriby United’s demise and Colwyn Bay’s resignation from the English system, has effectively ensured that Clitheroe will not face the threat of relegation.
But, regardless, Ashforth wants to see a response from his players in games against Prescot Cables, leaders Atherton Collieries, Leek Town, Colne and Mossley, all of whom are in the top seven in the table.
“I’ve told them that the season isn’t over yet,” said Ashforth. “They’re fighting for their shirts, they’re fighting for next season, they’re fighting for the club.
“After a couple of really good back-to-back performances, you could throw in the Ramsbottom performance as well, they’ve got to lift themselves up and go again.
“We’re obviously all disappointed because we felt like we’d turned a corner but we came here, in a game we aimed at getting something from, and we’ve been beaten quite comfortably in the end.
“The players have got to lift themselves again going in to next week because we’ve got a tough run in.”
Ashforth is planning on ringing the changes to freshen things up a bit but will have to rely on his squad at Shawbridge after the transfer deadline passed.
“I think they’ll be itching to put it right,” he said.
“We might have to make a few changes just to freshen it up within the squad because deadline day has gone. We’ll try to keep them on their toes.
“We’ve still got players who are on the periphery with Jordan Fitton and George West who haven’t had a look in lately.
“They might get their chance, we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s up to us to have a look at things next week, change things and freshen it up a bit.”