CLITHEROE boss Paul Moore is backing his side to claim a First Division North play-off spot providing recent form is maintained.
Having won four of the last seven outings, a statistic married with four clean sheets in five, Moore is targeting 15 points from the remaining nine fixtures to secure a top five finish.
The Clitheroe chief has spearheaded a remarkable reverse from last term as the Shawbridge side battled against relegation, but they’ve rubbed shoulders with the division’s elite for the majority of this term, and Moore is determined to culminate the season with success.
“We are doing alright,” he said. “We aren’t pulling up trees but we are doing well.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do. There’s nine games to go and we’re joint second in the league so I think most managers would take that.
“I think we need five wins from the nine remaining fixtures to guarantee a play-off spot.
“The lads have been fantastic. They’ve put in the performances on the pitch on top of working hard in training.
“It’s been a collective effort. They deserve to finish in the top five, they’ve earned it.
“At the start of the season I wouldn’t have expected this.
“Now with the games remaining and 15 points needed, we certainly have a chance.
“There’s some tough games for us, injuries can play a part and obviously form plays a huge part so we’ll see.
“We are the in-form team at the moment so we just need to keep going and pick up the points as soon as possible.”
The Blues suffered a temporary setback when losing 3-0 to high-flying Ramsbottom United last Tuesday night, a result which aggrieved Moore.
However, he was buoyed by the reaction of his players as they bounced back to beat Prescot Cables 2-0 four days later.
“The Ramsbottom game was a nonsense for us and the referee cost us,” said Moore.
“The penalty he awarded was ludicrous and changed the game. The incident was ball to hand rather than hand to ball.
“It was such a tight game prior to that between two teams well positioned in the league so I found it incredible that he gave that decision. He opened up the game; I was bitterly disappointed.
“We responded with a win away at Prescot Cables.
“Our results have picked up of late and it’s all about getting those points at this stage of the season.
“We want to stay among that play-off situation. We’ve worked incredibly hard to get ourselves there.
“It’s been a remarkable season and we’ve been in the top six for the vast majority.”
In-form Cammell Laird are the visitors to the Ribble Valley on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m., in a fixture which could see the table transform once again.
“The odds on us achieving a play-off spot are coming down with each game,” Moore declared.
“We’ve got the squad to do it, so we’ll just look to keep winning. Every game poses a different challenge so things will continue to change.
“There’ll still be plenty of twists and turns. I’m enjoying my time at Clitheroe Football Club and I’m determined to be successful here.”