Seb Hayes insists Holbeach United’s championship challenge will be all over if they suffer another setback tonight.
The Tigers head to second-placed Yaxley – just three weeks after a 3-0 semi-final defeat ended their Knockout Cup dreams.
Holbeach will go back to In2itive Park knowing that victory would lift them above the Cuckoos in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Premier Division title race.
Hayes’ side suffered their first home defeat this season as Desborough Town won 3-1 at Carter’s Park on Saturday.
Holbeach are six points behind leaders Newport Pagnell Town with three games in hand.
Hayes said: “We need to get back to basics.
We have not become a bad side but we need to keep matching the opponents’ work-rate. How much do we want to win it?Seb Hayes
“If we play like we did for the last 40 minutes against Desborough then Yaxley are in for a tough game.
“But if we play like we did in the first half then it will be the same result.
“People might think that I’m over-reacting again but if we lose tonight, we will be out of the title race.
“We are not scoring goals and there is no hiding from our problems.
“Inside the dressing room, we know that we have got to work even harder and stick together.
“We have to put it right, so a positive result tonight would be something to build on.
“If we lose again, we won’t be title challengers, so then it would be a case of finishing as high as we can.
“We’ll need an unbeaten run for eight or nine games – however that happens.
“We know the players are capable because they have done it previously.
“I haven’t lost any belief in this group.
“We are now back to full strength, apart from a long-term injury to Dan Dougill.
“The squad has proved so far this season that they are good enough.
“We have not become a bad side but we need to keep matching the opponents’ work-rate. How much do we want to win it?”
Mitch Griffiths and Stacy Cartwright will be back in the squad after serving bans.