Haworth’s focus is solely on play-offs

Simon Haworth (right)
Simon Haworth (right)
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Blues boss Simon Haworth is encouraging his players to park their cup final glee to one side temporarily, so they can give everything towards the club’s play-off push.

The former Wigan Athletic striker is ecstatic about Clitheroe’s achievement in reaching the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy showpiece, but he’s not prepared to settle for just that.

Despite losing three games in a row, all without scoring, the Blues are still well in the mix for a top six finish, a feat they missed out on by the skin of their teeth last season.

Clitheroe welcome Trafford to Shawbridge on Saturday and it’s their opponents who currently occupy that final play-off place.

Victory would ensure that the Ribble Valley outfit would move to within a point of their rivals while holding a couple of games in hand.

And Haworth acknowledged just how pivotal a game this could be. “We’re straight in to the Trafford game now which will be a really tough one,” he said.

“We were hoping to get a good result and performance in against Mossley ahead of it but it didn’t work out that way.

“It’s a big game and we need to pick up some points because we’ve lost three in a row. Hopefully this is a game that we can go and win because we’re in direct competition with them.

“When we went to Trafford earlier in the season they were too big and powerful for us. We struggled a little bit. It will be another tough test but we’re more than capable with the players that we have. We haven’t got in to our flow but I’m confident that three points can get us on a bit of a run.”

The Welshman added: “I wouldn’t settle for one now it’s done. It’s brilliant that one of them has been put away and we’ve now got something to show for our efforts.

“Everyone is really keen to get some momentum going now.

“I think that semi-final was on their minds a little bit. You could see it with their reaction in the dressing room afterwards. You could see how much it meant to them. It’s great for them to get that opportunity but we can tuck that away until mid-April now and knuckle down. Everyone’s confidence has been lifted. Hopefully we can now beat our rivals and competitors.

“It means everything to us. It’s a great opportunity for the players to go and play there. We’ve always wanted something to show for our efforts and this is the culmination of all our hard work. It’ll be a really good occasion and I’m delighted to have something to show for my time in charge.

“We’ve proven that we can go out there and do it. We want it to be a great night, we want to enjoy it and hopefully we’ll bring that trophy home. It’s a great platform for everybody involved in the club to showcase themselves.”