DOWN but not, yet, out of business, Darlington have been challenged to end the season with a long-overdue win.
The Quakers were relegated from Blue Square Bet Premier last week.
Should they fail to emerge from administration by the Conference AGM on June 9, they might yet be demoted to Evo-Stik Premier.
But for the time being, caretaker manager Craig Liddle insists the priority is to end a troubled campaign with a first victory in 20 games.
“For everybody, we just need a win,” said Liddle, whose side are at Forest Green Rovers today.
“I’m obviously still hugely disappointed (by relegation) but the writing was on the wall as far back as November, December.
“The lads can now relax a little bit but they’re still playing for their futures.
“They’ll want to make an impression for a new manager or a new club elsewhere.
“On Tuesday I told them that we’re not just going out there to make the numbers up, and it’ll be the same on Saturday.
“I’ve got a lot of pride in the football club, there are people travelling all over the country to watch us. So we can’t just go through the motions.
“The one thing everybody wants is for this club to survive. It means an awful lot to a lot of people.
“So I’ll be demanding that they at least put up a spirited performance.
“It’s a long trek and we don’t have the luxury of a plush, posh coach. It’s not ideal but we’ve just got to get on with it.”
Get on, and face former goalkeeper Sam Russell.
“Sam’s one of the best goalkeepers in the league but he won’t mind me saying that I hope he has a nightmare on Saturday!” Liddle joked.
“If he and his like were still at the club, without being disrespectful to anyone, we certainly wouldn’t be on this run. That’s an absolute fact.
“But he had a decision to make for his future and his family, and he chose to go to Forest Green.
“When I see him on Saturday I’ll shake his hand and wish him ‘All the best’.
“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and a fantastic person. But hopefully he’ll have a stinker and we can stick one or two past him and get that win that everybody deserves.”