GREAT Harwood boss John Hughes has given his side a tough target of seven wins out of their final 11 NWCL Division Two games for a top four place.
It is a big ask for the Robins who have dropped off the pace after failing to win in their last four league matches. And, with a double header against Colne and games with Nelson, Darwen, Flixton and Ashton in the run-in, it will be hard. But Hughes knows if he has a fully fit squad his young team can launch a late push.
"We have got to win at least seven," said Hughes. "We know it won't be easy especially as we have to play teams who are all up there but we have got to do it."
Harwood drew 1-1 at Winsford on Saturday. Brian Fogarty opened the scoring on just three minutes before Winsford came back. And Hughes was furious after James Dean was sent off and the club - with the backing of the Winsford manager as well - are appealing against the dismissal.
Then, on Tuesday night, Harwood slipped to a 3-1 loss at Oldham Town with Hughes angry at what he felt was a "lack of effort." Darren Rodgers was the scorer.
"I know we are a young side but there is no excuse for a lack of effort," fumed the boss. "We had no flare, no calmness or confidence - and we allowed ourselves to be intimidated by them. We did have only 11 players and one of them, Paul Goldthorpe, was playing with an illness. I had eight players missing including Paul Mashiter, Ryan Parr and Anthony Green - important players for us.
"But still on paper we had a good side and we just didn't show it. We are lacking the confidence to put the ball in the back of the net. We haven't had a regular strike partnership and that has been a problem."
Harwood are without a game on Saturday but have a home tie against Holker Old Boys on Monday night at the Showground (ko 7.45pm).
- GREAT Harwood will face local rivals Colne in the Division Two Trophy final. Colne saw off the threat of Cheadle in the two-legged semi and now face Harwood for the cup. "It is good as it is a local derby," said Hughes. "But we have no idea where we will be playing or when yet."