MANAGER NOTES | Thoughts ahead of today's match against Ramsbottom

MANAGER NOTES | Thoughts ahead of today's match against Ramsbottom

By Michael Barker
9th March
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Ramsbottom have made the short trip up the road today and we wish Chris and his team a warm welcome for today's game.

Congratulations also to Ramsbottom on an unbelievable FA Trophy run and showing the quality of this league that we are privileged to be a part of.

Todays game will be a cracking match. I remember taking the caretaker role 30 games ago and one of our first games was Ramsbottom away in the league cup.

At the time the club had been struggling sat second bottom, with 3 points from 7 games, out of the FA Cup, and we were at the early stages of steadying the ship. We did that and won the game on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

We then played them again on the Saturday and drew 3-3 after conceding an 81st minute equaliser.

Soon after Mark Fell left for Lancaster and Chris took the reins and, with the help of the cup run, has created a team that is riding the crest of a wave and is firmly in the promotion mix.
Opposite to that we are in a rut. However, I stand by what I have said from day one, we will stay up.

We have rebuilt and we will continue to do so.

The players are hurting and they are hurting as much as the management team is. After the Runcorn game we looked for a reaction and got one against Droylsden. Now after Chasetown we are asking for a reaction again. Ramsbottom will be tougher than Droylsden but I expect a reaction all the same. Nine cup finals left this season!

This week I have added Dom Kerrigan to the team from Colne. He is another player that we will add to the squad as we continue to find the right formula for the remainder of this season and into next.

With the three additions over the last couple of weeks we have now changed a few and with the deadline looming over us in March we are almost at a stage where it is this group of players that will finish the season.

I spoke to Andy Langford after the Chasetown game, now he has played two games. He said that the team on paper is good, the changing room is good and training is good and we should be competitive.

I agree, but with confidence low at the moment the only way to get the right results is to continue to work hard throughout 90 minutes and to make your luck change.

Only a few now remain who have been with the club from pre-season, and it’s been a turbulent 12 months for Clitheroe FC with a double change of manager and a complete new squad with the exception of Jacob Gregory.

Jacob has found himself on the bench for the last two games and as club Captain he is hurting. He will get more games and his attitude has been superb throughout the season both on and off the pitch.

The next 6 months will most likely be just as turbulent with Anne Baker stepping down, and the club needs a restructure with additional volunteers off the pitch, and between now and July off the pitch will be just as important as what we do on it. Clubs need stability at some point and we are no exception.

However before we get to that stage, we need to secure Evo-Stik status, and we will.

Enjoy the game.

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