Holbeach United boss Seb Hayes knows they need to hit top form again after the winter break.
The Tigers are unbeaten in five games – but that run has featured two stoppage-time winners plus a couple of 1-1 draws at Carter’s Park.
They slipped to fifth in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Premier Division title race by conceding an equaliser to Leicester Nirvana.
This week’s trips to Peterborough Northern Star and Kirby Muxloe were called off - so Hayes and Matt Warfield are waiting to complete suspensions.
Assistant boss Tim Cole took charge of Holbeach’s game against Leicester Nirvana last weekend.
He was given support by ex-Oakham United manager Wayne Oldaker after Darren Edey left the Tigers due to work commitments.
We’ve only lost twice in 13 league games but we must get back to winning really convincingly like we had done earlier in the season.Seb Hayes
Hayes explained: “There was a lot more responsibility during my suspension but I thought Edey was capable of dealing with that.
“He was going home and still working at 10pm so it was probably too much and he stopped enjoying football.
“He needs to concentrate on work – if he can’t commit fully to anything, he won’t do half measures.
“We’ll wait and see what happens next but Oldaker is a good friend who knows the players and watches our games.
“I don’t know whether he would want to be involved and there is no pressure on him. He had a big impact last Saturday.”
Midfielder Danny Brooks also left Holbeach last week after an impressive loan spell from Lincoln United. He has since joined Spalding United.
Hayes said: “We couldn’t afford to keep him here and that was my decision.
“We have gone over the budget and I wasn’t prepared to keep doing that.
“We couldn’t release any of the players who have been with us all season to keep a loanee.
“I let him know as soon as possible to sort himself out.
“We have gone into a few games with five substitutes so there are always a couple of players missing out.
“We don’t want to create disharmony within the squad because we need players to get regular minutes during the run-in – especially if we get suspensions and injuries.
“I made a decision for the long-term future but Brooks is a great bloke and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He knows this wasn’t personal against him.”
Charley Sanders is likely to be ruled out for at least two weeks with a hamstring injury which forced him off early in last Saturday’s game.
Lewis Leckie came on and got Holbeach’s goal, only for Nirvana to level before the break.
Hayes reflected: “On the first-half performance, it was a case of two points dropped. After the second half, it was a good point for us.
“The equaliser came at a bad time and they went on to create a couple of really good chances.
“Nirvana will play other teams around us in the table. If they pick up points, they can put themselves back into title contention or play a big part in the championship race.
“From our point of view, we need to keep the unbeaten run going. We must get back some confidence and build
“We’ve only lost twice in 13 league games but we must get back to winning really convincingly like we had done earlier in the season.
“Sooner rather than later, we must get back to converting our chances in this big push to the end of the season.
“But we are not conceding many goals or getting beaten at the moment.”