Michael Ellison highlights Clitheroe challenge as Widnes’ fight continues

Widnes battle with Prescot Cables

Widnes manager Michael Ellison has admitted their clash with Clitheroe will be a test for his side after their recent outings.

The Whites made it two wins in two after George Hassall thumped home in stoppage time to beat rivals Prescot Cables on Tuesday.

They continued their winning form after beating playoff chasing Mossley at the DCBL Stadium, days earlier.

Six points from a possible six moved them to within touching distance of moving out of the bottom two as they’re within three points of Colne in the playoff position.

“Nice easy one… there’s no easy games, we knew we were coming away here, Clitheroe and then Witton Albion after that so there’s no easy games,” he told Off The Park.

“They’re a good side, put four past Bootle – who are a very good side – and if you look at the league table, I don’t think you can predict anything, there is certainly no whipping boys at this level. We’ll prepare Thursday, I think the last two games have took it out of us a little bit, we’re trying to get one or two bodies in this week, I think we’ve lost Sherif to a hamstring there.

“We’ll have to see but he certainly won’t be fit, we’ll try get one or two in but we will have to shuffle the pack because the effort they’re putting in, what we’re asking to do off the ball, it’s hard to put in three games in a week.

“I kick every ball, I’m in every moment, I said to the lads in there ‘I’m on them’ and that’s the way I am. I’m sure when I watch the game back, as I have the last two, I sit there and I thought we were pretty comfortable.” Ellison added on the win over Steve Daley’s side in midweek but he knows the battle is far from over.

“If you come away from home or play three games – Glossop away, Prescot away and Mossley at home – and your goalkeepers had three saves, you’re doing something right and we’ve got to continue that because there’s a long, long way to go.

“I think there’s 12 games left, lots of points to play for but that’s the standard you have to have every single game because if you switch off, don’t turn up, do the hard yards, work hard, you lose, it’s as simple as that. It’s an unforgiving league.”

Despite their movement off the foot of the table, the Widnes boss isn’t interested with getting tied in with how the standing look.

“I try not to look at other teams results because I can’t affect that. Rammy got a draw away at Workington, no one would’ve expected that, you can get disappointed or overexcited so I focus on us.

“We’re not cut adrift, we’re putting up a fighting chance, scrapping, putting up a fighting chance, anyone who has seen us the last couple of games, we don’t look like a side at the bottom of the league we look a half-decent side. Long may it continue.”

Former manager Dave Dempsey will be in the home dugout for the visit of Widnes after succeeding Billy Priestley as Clitheroe manager. Ellison knows all too well the quality of the Lancashire side after suffering a drubbing during his time at City of Liverpool.

He said: “They’re a very good side and I know from previous experience if you get it wrong at Clitheroe you can be on the end of a hiding, it’s a tough place to go, tough conditions.

“They’ve got goals in them, got a lot of experience, options, the previous manager here is there so I’m sure he’ll want to do well and get one over on us but we just look at it like every other game.

“They’ll have thing we can combat, we have to defend and they’ve got weaknesses we’ll try to exploit so it’s like any game. Look at strengths, look at weaknesses and see if we can get a result.”

[Featured Image: John Middleton – Prescot Cables]

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