Sean Ray says Hastings United can start turning draws into wins with a bit more belief.
If you count the penalty shoot-out victory over Harrogate Town as a draw, seven of the last 10 United matches have ended all-square.
After the Boxing Day draw away to Ryman Football League Premier Division promotion hopefuls Whitehawk, United player-manager Ray said: “We know we’re good enough to be up there and good enough to compete with these teams.
“We know we’re a tough side to beat, but we’ve got to take that next step and start converting some of these draws into wins. We’ve drawn the last five in the league and if we could’ve picked up a couple of wins in amongst those draws, we could be up into mid-table and pushing on.”
Although fourth-from-bottom of the league (admittedly with games in hand on everyone apart from Thurrock), United have lost only one of their last 16 games in all competitions.
“I think the difference between us and the teams at the top is we don’t actually believe we’re a good side,” Ray continued. “Players turn up willing to work hard, but they (teams at the top of the table) turn up to games believing that they’re going to win. With the run we’ve been on, not just in the FA Cup, we’ve got to take belief and confidence from that.”
United have two more important league fixtures either side of the new year with a trip to third-from-bottom Wingate & Finchley today (Saturday) to be followed by a visit from Lewes on Tuesday and Ray is targeting six points.
Ray added that goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford won’t play against Wingate and it is uncertain at this stage if he will feature against Lewes.
Elsewhere today (Saturday), Rye United are due to host Ringmer in Sussex County League Division One. If it goes ahead, the match will kick-off at 3pm.