Chris Rawlinson believes Spalding United can get the play-off challenge back on track before the midway stage of the season.
The Tulips have slipped into mid-table in the Evo-Stik South after two successive defeats.
But this weekend’s home game against Sheffield marks the start of a key spell for boss Rawlinson and his squad.
He explained: “We’ve only played three teams in the bottom half of the table and won two of those games.
“We flattered to deceive in the defeat at Market Drayton Town when, based on form and league position, three points should have put us into joint third.
“We’ve now got a run of games coming up with six out of eight teams below us.
We’ve only played three teams in the bottom half of the table and won two of those games.Chris Rawlinson
“We need to capitalize on the fixture list so my message to the players will be ‘it’s time to kick on now’.
“I’m not saying that we are going to win all of those games. But if we win five and draw a couple then we will be back on target to put the points total in the mid-30s from 20 games.
“Everyone is beating each other so 70 points should be enough for a play-off place at the end of the season.
“If we don’t capitalize on this spell and our points total is in the 20s then we will be a bang average mid-table side.
“We are not making any excuses or looking for them.
“Although we lost at home to Basford United, we were massively encouraged by the performance.
“We had 10 per cent more possession and 10 more shots, although not many on target.
“We need to cut out these individual errors and take our chances.”
Rawlinson saw Sheffield’s 3-0 home defeat to Frickley Athletic in the Buildbase FA Trophy last Saturday.
Spalding had exemption from the preliminary round and they will make the trip to Chasetown in the first qualifying round on October 28. Last weekend Chasetown beat Market Drayton Town 2-0.