Clitheroe boss urging fans to get behind his players

Simon Haworth looks on as striker Kurt Willoughby battles for the ball
Simon Haworth looks on as striker Kurt Willoughby battles for the ball

Clitheroe FC chief Simon Haworth is hoping that the tension and negativity emanating from certain pockets of Shawbridge will start to slide following recent results.

Back-to-back home defeats against Colwyn Bay and Bamber Bridge had led to some fans becoming disgruntled despite the Blues racking up 10 points from their opening six fixtures in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

The former Wigan Athletic striker believes that a cluster of supporters have high expectations after last season’s play-off push, adding that they’ve developed a sense of entitlement, but the Blues boss moved quickly to administer a reality check.

Having taken four points from games against Ramsbottom United and Mossley in recent outings in the Ribble Valley, the former Wales international said: “I’m happier because it’s seemed quite tense and negative around the place recently.

“We lost three games before beating Ramsbottom and you could sense the tension coming from the terraces.

“Supporters need to get on side and get behind us. We’re a victim of our own success and you could feel the tension when we went behind against Ramsbottom.

“It needs a bit of a reality check. We’re not far off the play-offs and we’re exactly where we were last season.

“With the atmosphere at the minute you’d think we were bottom. I think the players need to be cut a little bit of slack, especially after what they achieved last year.”

Clitheroe entertain local rivals Colne in the FA Trophy on Non League Day on Saturday and Haworth is hoping that the dark clouds looming over the club will have shifted by then.

“We’re mid-table, most people understand the position of the club, but I think the expectation is higher for some because of last season,” he said.

“Some are expecting us to beat the bigger teams like we did last year but it’s not as simple as that.

“We fought to achieve everything that we did last year. We had to roll our sleeves up and at the end of the day we over-achieved. If we’re mid-table at Christmas then that would be a success for Clitheroe Football Club.

“People are working hard in the background to make sure this club has a sound financial footing.

“It’s all about the club being solid and moving forward. We’re doing that. It’s a self-sufficient football club that is doing a lot of good things.

“We’re trying to be as competitive as possible but there needs to be a reality to everything.

“There are some big teams behind us in the table. I would like us to be better and win games to help shift that tension away.”