Mickey Stones has told his Horncastle Town squad he wants a reaction as they travel to face Lincoln United Development Side this weekend.
Saturday’s defeat to Ruston Sports means the Wongers have picked up just one point from their past three Balcan Lighting Supplies Lincolnshire League contests.
And while Stones still has hopes of a top-four finish, he knows that can only happen if the side’s form improves drastically.
“I’m looking for a reaction,” he told The News. “It’s important we get going again.”
Lincoln inflicted Town’s first defeat of the season upon them in September, in a game Stones didn’t believe his side deserved to lose.
“We controlled the game and the same player caught us out twice,” he said.
“We’re a good footballing side and it’s a good pitch at Lincoln United, so hopefully that will help us.
“Some of the lads were moaning about the pitch on Saturday, so there’ll be no excuses this time.
“We still want to get that fourth place.”
Stones believes his side are still struggling to get up for league matches this season, despite booking their place in the county cup final and the Challenge Cup semis, where they will face Lincoln United DS.
Thinking back to his first trophy as manager, the 2016-17 Challenge Cup victory over Brigg Reserves, which Horncastle won on penalties, Stones reflected: “Our next semi is four weeks away and the final isn’t until eight weeks.
“We can’t continue raising our game for cup games.
“It’s a dangerous thing to do.
“When we played Brigg in the first season we wanted to look after people for that game and we rested players. But they were shot after about an hour.
“We keep talking about it. We need to be playing at our best. Playing for places, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
The Wongers have recently lost Jack Wood, who has moved to Harrowby United’s first team.
And with keeper Lewis Burchnall out with a groin injury, youngster Jake Frestle has been taking his place between the sticks.
“Jake’s done really well,” Stones added. “He’s improving with every game. That hasn’t affected us.”
Saturday’s kick off at Ashby Avenue will be at 3pm.