Pat Rayment is demanding much more from Spalding United – starting on Tuesday night in their first home league game in seven weeks.
The Tulips face second-placed Shaw Lane Aquaforce after a poor performance ended their unbeaten away record in the Evo-Stik League First Division South.
Spalding suffered a 3-1 loss at Chasetown on Saturday and Rayment admits they must do better to immediately bounce back.
The manager said: “We need more competition for places.
“Individual performances on Saturday were poor to say the least and there have been too many like that.
“We’ve got an inability to control games because we can’t retain the ball and we spend too much time towards our goal defending.
People have said we are both among the favourites for promotion but I’d dismiss our chances until we get going.Spalding United manager Pat Rayment
“We are too easy to play against. But we know these players are good enough.
“I will protect them but they have to step up to the plate with the performance levels which we know they are capable of.
“At the moment it doesn’t make any difference who we play against because if we play like we did on Saturday then we are going to hurt ourselves.
“Half a dozen players have not even got out of first gear. When they do that we will be a very good team.
“Shaw Lane Aquaforce are very direct, physical and strong but that might suit us.
“People have said we are both among the favourites for promotion but I’d dismiss our chances until we get going.
“We anticipated a striker would come but that deal is off due to his excessive wage demands. We are still looking to bring in players.”
Jake Newman (hamstring) and Tom Waumsley (ankle) are both ruled out while Michael Emery will again deputise in goal for Michael Duggan who is unavailable.
Jonny Lockie, Declan Earth and Levi Butland are likely to be among the substitutes for Tuesday night’s game.
They are part of the Tulips’ under-18 squad who have also featured for the reserve team in Division One of the Peterborough and District League.