PAUL Moore admits Northwich Victoria’s survival on the pitch this season is no longer under their control after they lost to a direct rival on Wednesday.
A 3-1 defeat at home to Rugby leaves Vics six points adrift of a position of safety in the Northern Premier League’s Division One South with four games left.
Not that the former Colwyn Bay boss has lost hope.
“I’m confident there’s another twist or two to follow,” he said.
“A positive result in midweek would have kept things in our hands, but that’s changed now.
“It’s a tough ask for us to stay up, and to stand a chance we need to win our next two games. If we don’t, I think that’s it.
“But we’ll keep on fighting, I can guarantee that.”
His options will again be restricted when Vics travel to Sheffield tomorrow.
Yaw Gyimah, Stuart McDonald and Reece Lyndon are all suspended, leaving him with 13 players to pick from.
A dismissal for Andrew Fitzgerald on Wednesday, when he was accused of stamping on Robbie Parsons, means he faces a three-match ban too.
However Moore said it is unfair to criticise all of them for a lack of discipline.
He added: “I’ve not made a habit of having a go at officials – my previous record proves that.
“They have a difficult job, but when we’ve needed them to be strong in the past couple of weeks we’ve been let down.
“They’ve made decisions that have cost us dearly.
“Andy Fitzgerald stumbled over their player when he went to retrieve a ball that had gone out of play, yet the linesman couldn’t get his flag up quickly enough.
“It changed the game, because we were 1-0 up and in good shape.”
Levi Rowley levelled from the penalty spot before the break before second-half goals from David Kolodynksi and Rowley again, this time direct from a free kick, settled the outcome the Valley’s way.
Rugby host rock-bottom Loughborough tomorrow.
The latter then visit Wincham Park on Wednesday.
Moore said: “The best result on Saturday would be for Loughborough to win.
“Of course, we need to look after ourselves and make sure we do the business [at Sheffield].
“That would keep things interesting.”
Midfielder Lingouba Cesaire is available after recovering from a hamstring injury to start in midweek.