The director of football at Ellesmere Rangers has said the remainder of the season is “all about survival”.

Alan Davis believes the season has been a difficult one for Rangers after their move from the West Midlands Regional League last summer.

Ellesmere Rangers finished sixth in the 2017/2018, but have endured a tough season since their move to the North West Counties Football League Division One South.

Davis said he was disappointed with the way in which the club was transferred to the NWCFL in the summer, and made clear the club’s main aim is to try staying in the division.

He said: “It’s been a very difficult season for us.

“The move of leagues was something that became a real stumbling block for us, especially with the way it came about.

“Halfway through the 2017/18 season, we were told we wouldn’t be moving leagues. We told the FA we would need at least six months to prepare for a transfer to another league as our players were primarily based in the Midlands.

“This meant we would struggle to keep a lot of them as they would not be willing to travel as far as we would need them to in the NWCFL.

“We were given two days’ notice before the leagues were decided in the summer telling us we would be moving to the NWCFL.”

With the change in leagues, Rangers have struggled to keep hold of the Midlands-based players at the club in the West Midlands division last season.

This has meant the squad has undergone a rebuilding process throughout the season, with several new faces coming into the side.

Davis added: “It’s been difficult to replace the lads we had from the Midlands, so this season as a whole has very much been a case of rebuilding throughout.

“It’s been very difficult, and it will continue to be very difficult for us until the end of the season – it’s just a matter of survival for us now.”

Alan also spoke of how he feels disappointed with the way in which the FA handled the leagues transfer.

With their under-18s side playing the the West Midlands Floodlit League, Alan fears the club may struggle to hold onto their youngsters, for the same reason they struggled to hold on to their first team players last season.

He said: “With our under-18s playing in the West Midlands Floodlit League, they’re all based over that way.

“Again, for them it’s difficult to travel, so it’s going to be hard for us to convince them to stay with us once they finish at the U18s.

“The FA have handled it really poorly – grassroots football is a shambles.”

Looking forward to the end of the season, Alan is hoping Rangers are able to do enough to stay up as they continue to rebuild, but he understands it will be a tough task.

He said: “We’re still six points adrift of safety, and we know to stay up will be a very difficult task. We’re not going to shy away from that fact, we just need to continue picking up our performances as we have done a little bit after the turn of the year.

“More than anything, it’s still going to be a case of rebuilding and preparing for next season.”

Rangers will look to close the gap between themselves and safety as they take on Cheadle Heath Nomads on Tuesday, February 12.

Before that, they travel to Carlisle City in the First Division Cup on Saturday.