CLITHEROE boss Simon Garner is hoping to take local bragging rights tonight as his side aim to reignite their play-off charge.

The Blues have stumbled recently and a 6-1 defeat to play-off rivals Burscough last Thursday, followed by a 3-1 reverse at home to Ossett Albion on Saturday, has seen them slip out of the top five.

Before those results Clitheroe had won 10 of their last 12 fixtures to put themselves in contention for promotion from the Evo-Stik First Division North.

But Garner believes a busy few weeks have taken their toll on his squad.

"It's been two disappointing results. We've played five games in 12 days and I think it's caught up with us," he said.

"On Thursday we got battered really and then on Saturday we never got going. The first and second goals came at a bad time and we never got a foothold in the game.

"It might have been a hangover. It's been tough, we've got a small squad, it's not excuses, other teams have had to do it.

"It might have been psychological as well, some of the lads were perhaps mentally scarred from Thursday night.

"We've got five games left now and we're need to turn it around and finish strongly."

The Blues have surpassed expectations this season, but having come so far Garner is determined to see his side give their all over the final five fixtures.

"We'd have taken this position at the start of the season, I'd have snapped your hand off for it," he said.

"Three of our final five games are at home. They'll all be tough, we've still got to play Burscough again, everyone will want to stop us getting in the play-offs but we just have to try and win as many as we can.

"I couldn't have asked more of the players. At the end of January if you'd have told me we'd have won 10 of 12 games I wouldn't have believed you.

"The consistency has been superb. In the last two games we've been more disappointed because of how we've been doing previously.

"We can't keep on this run, we have to turn it around and make sure we don't fall away. We need to get back to winning ways tonight ideally.

"We can only worry about ourselves and if we make sure we win our games we give ourselves a very good chance."

The Blues face local rivals Bamber Bridge at Shawbridge tonight, just eight days after the last meeting between the two sides ended with Clitheroe snatching a dramatic late victory.

"Hopefully we'll get a big reaction from the lads, but they will be smarting about the way we beat them last week with the last kick of the game," said Garner.

"They didn't have a game on Saturday so there will be a little bit fresher as well.

"We need to win the game and with the position Bamber Bridge in they have to nothing to play for, but it's a local derby and they will want to stop us, so we'll need to be at it from the first minute."

In the Evo-Stik Premier Division Ramsbottom's relegation could be confirmed tonight.

The Rams haven't won in 17 games and all that remains is for the drop to be mathematically confirmed.

Garry Vaughan's side are on the road at Matlock Town tonight.