Sean Ray has urged his Hastings United players to regain some belief in their battle against the drop.
The U’s remain just outside the Ryman Football League Premier Division’s two relegation places having failed to win a league game since November 6.
United player-manager Sean Ray said: “Your belief and your confidence is half the battle. Somehow we’ve got to get back to putting the belief in players. You can tell the players how you feel about them, but ultimately they’ve got to believe in themselves.
“I think one of two players have lost a bit of belief; they’ve stopped doing what they were doing earlier in the season and we’ve stopped playing the type of football we were.
“They look scared of putting their foot on the ball and making a mistake, but they can’t be thinking like that; they’ve got to be confident enough to get on the ball.
“First and foremost every single player has got to roll their sleeves up, go and battle, and fight. When we’ve won the battle, then we can start playing our game. You’ve got to be hard to beat and battle through teams when you’re down the bottom.
“It’s a time where I need a group of men to stand up and be counted, and fight for me and for the football club. It’s getting that belief back in the players again and concentrating on what we’re good at.”
New signing Ray Freeman is expected to go straight into the squad for the visit of Lowestoft Town today (Saturday). Ray is hoping to have Jack Dixon back after injury, but Matt Whitehead is doubtful so Jono Richardson is in line to start. Follow @SimonNewstead on Twitter for match updates.
TODAY’S SENIOR FOOTBALL FIXTURES (3pm unless stated)
Ryman League, Premier Division: Hastings Utd v Lowestoft Town.
Sussex County League, Division 1: Redhill v Sidley Utd; Rye Utd v Horsham YMCA.
Division 2: Bexhill Utd v Wick; Little Common v Mile Oak; Rustington v Westfield 2.