Lee Ashforth has conceded that Clitheroe are now scrapping for their lives in the Evo-Stik League West Division.
The club’s 12th defeat in their last 15 games, at the hands of Chasetown, means the Blues’ cushion over the bottom two now stands at four points.
Kendal Town, who cranked up the pressure with victory over Market Drayton Town at the weekend, also have the opportunity to plug that gap again with their game in hand.
After suffering an 11th loss of the season at Shawbridge, Ashforth said: “It’s another home defeat, we seem to struggle here at Shawbridge and I’m not sure why.
“We’ve struggled all year and our better performances have come in the away games. We’re in a scrap now, a massive scrap.
“We need to put our finger on the problem quickly because we’re now in a scrap to finish away from second bottom.
“The likelihood is that only one team will go down but we don’t want to finish second bottom because we don’t want to be put in that position.
“We’ve got a couple of games coming up that are ‘must wins’, similar to the Skelmersdale one a couple of weeks ago.
“We’ve got Market Drayton and Glossop North End coming up. They’re massive games for us now and games we’ve got to win.”
Clitheroe have just nine games remaining to preserve their status at this level and Ashforth revealed that he’s been given the backing of the club to see the job through.
“Things aren’t going our way, they haven’t done for a long time now,” he said. “It isn’t to be, we’re really struggling at the minute and as a management team we’re looking inwards first and seeing where we can improve things.
“The club have backed me, which is really good, and I’m not going to leave the club in this position with nine games to go.
“I’m here to fight it through to the end, as is Dave Mannix and Rick Ward. We’re here to fight until the end and hopefully come the end of the season we’ll stay in the division and then we can rebuild for next year. That was always the plan.”