‘If we go down, we go down fighting - not with a whimper’, declared Workington Reds assistant manager Steven Rudd, ahead of tonight’s clash with title-chasing South Shields at Borough Park, ko 7.45pm.

Rudd admitted that it was now an uphill struggle for Reds as they battle to stave off relegation from the Evo-Stik Premier but he said nobody had given up.

“We can only control our game,” said Rudd. “ On Saturday we weren’t good enough and the lads know that. But if it comes to the worst case scenario, we will go down fighting and not with a whimper because anything can still happen.”

That was a view echoed by chairman John Mackay, who says nobody has given up on Reds staying in the premier division.

“We are not down until we are down,” he stated. “We will keep fighting to the bitter end. Obviously, us losing and Mickleover winning on Saturday didn’t help but we will keep going. We won’t give up until it is mathematically impossible to stay up and that’s when we will accept it and not before. The lads are all determined to keep fighting like mad.”

It will be a tough ask for Reds against South Shields, who are in with a good shout of the title and promotion but Mackay insists his side can pull it off.

“There are no easy games in this league and it will be tough but I’m sure Nantwich expected to beat Mickleover on Saturday but they pulled one over on them,” he said. “We know it doesn’t look good but we are staying positive and have every intention of trying to stay up.”

Reds will run a late fitness test on Josh Calvert ahead of tonight’s game as there is a chance the defender could play despite a hamstring problem.

n FORMER Reds’ midfielder Will Vaulks has won the ‘PFA Player in the Community’ award. Vaulks who recently won his first senior cap for Wales, collected the accolade at the EFL awards night.