Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has challenged his men to be the ‘best of the rest’ in the NPL First Division North this season.
The Dolly Blues’ faint play-off dreams were all but ended on Saturday as they suffered their first league defeat in eight games away at Mossley.
The 2-0 defeat, which followed a frustrating 2-2 draw against Kendal Town on Easter Monday, now means they trail fifth-placed Burscough by eight points, having played a game more.
With four games left to play of City’s season, Brown conceded that a promotion tilt now looks out of the question – but finishing as high as seventh is well within his team’s grasp.
And Brown believes that will represent success after taking over the reins at Giant Axe in early October with the club in the lower reaches of the division.
“I would say we are out of it now,” said Brown.
“I think the last two results have given us too much to do.
“The play-offs were realistically within our grasp.
“If we could have gone on a bit of a run of wins, we might have been able to put a bit more pressure on the teams above us
“But we have just fallen away a little bit.
“Maybe the pressure of having to win every game and pick up a lot of points has taken its toll.
“The target now is to be the best of the rest in the division.
“We can’t finish in the play-offs, but finishing seventh – or possibly sixth – will be, for me, a good achievement.”