Seb Hayes will demand a response from Holbeach United on Boxing Day to avoid another derby defeat.
The Tigers take on Wisbech Town at Carter’s Park on Monday afternoon, having lost 2-1 at Deeping Rangers for the first setback since Hayes took charge.
Dan Dougill’s first senior goal for Holbeach was too little, too late at the end of stoppage-time.
Hayes said: “We were poor on Tuesday night.
“Deeping didn’t have to be that good to get the result.
“They only had three chances and I thought it was a poor derby.
“We were really flat, although we started the game well and looked busy.
“The opening goal killed us and then we were feeling sorry for ourselves.
“We were never at it apart from those final 20 minutes after three substitutions and a change of shape.
“We had a bit more energy at the end but we were poor from the 10th minute to the 75th minute.
We had a bit more energy at the end but we were poor from the 10th minute to the 75th minute.Seb Hayes
“We couldn’t lift ourselves against a side who had momentum and belief.
“I told the players before the game that we needed to get on the front foot.
“Deeping beat us through hard work rather than real quality, although Scott Coupland’s goal was the highlight of the game.
“I was pleased to see Dougill on the scoresheet as he came on and really took the game by the scruff of the neck.
“He’s getting more game time now. He needed to be patient and now he must take his chances.
“Overall, though, we must get a response against Wisbech - that was the first thing I said to the players.
“I’ve taken over a place which feels flat. Even when they were 2-0 up against Leicester Nirvana last weekend, they seemed low in confidence.
“I can’t fault their effort but the application was poor on Tuesday.
“The substitutes ignited a bit more passion and fight into the side.
“If Zak Munton had taken his chance we might have lifted ourselves earlier.
“But I must admit we didn’t deserve anything out of the game.”