Hucknall Town boss Andy Graves has told players and supporters to stop looking at the Central Midlands League South table and worry only about the next game.
That comes after a wobble in their season which has seen them only win once in four games, losing 3-0 at Swanwick Pentrich Road last weekend.
But other sides around them are having wobbles too and Hucknall still have enough games in hand to overtake both leaders Selston and second-placed Eastwood Community.
“We have to take Saturday’s loss on the chin and not panic,” said Graves
“I have told everyone to stop looking at the table as it’s doing things to everybody’s heads – supporters’ heads, players’ heads, people within the club’s heads,” said Graves.
“We need to just take it one game at a time like we did last season and if we’ve got enough points at the end so be it, it will be what it will be.
“There are going to be lots of things happen between now and the end of the season. Who would have said Sherwood would have lost 3-1 at Southwell the night before? Then Linby drew 1-1 with Selston.
“It’s not all over and done with – we’ve only lost three games and we’ve still got the games in hand which might be important later on.
“So we are not panicking. You have got to be realistic. You are not going to go through a season without having some ups and downs.
“We have just got to stick together – supporters, club and players – and move on.
“We have some interesting games coming up so we’ll just take them one at a time and stop putting pressure on ourselves.”
The table suggests Hucknall have a great chance to get back on track this weekend when struggling Keyworth United visit on Saturday.
But Graves warned: “No game is a gimme in this league. If you’re not on your game, anybody can beat anybody. Eastwood went to bottom club Holbrook last week and would have expected to walk all over them but it was only 2-1.
“Every game you have to earn the right to win in this league. It’s tough, no matter what anybody says.
“As good as you think you are, you’ve got to make sure you’re up to it on the day otherwise you will get beat – simple as that.”
Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Swanwick came just three days after a 1-1 draw at Eastwood and Graves said: “It was always going to be tough up there no matter what. It it a very unique sort of pitch – a real bog of a pitch – and they play it well.
“Also I think the Eastwood game in midweek took more out of us than we thought and one or two played through knocks who probably shouldn’t have played.
“Playing on Eastwood’s artificial pitch, unless you’re used to it, really jars your limbs. We lost Dave Leak during that game and he’s not missed a game injured for three seasons.
“But we’re not using that as an excuse and first half we did well against Swanwick.”
He added: “We had a plan. We were kicking up the slope and we knew they would go high and long and at half-time we were happy with 0-0 and we’d had a goal disallowed.
“But their first goal then came out of the blue from a ball over the top and you could see it drained us.
“Then they scored from a corner that should never have been a corner as it had bounced off the flag and gone out for a throw-in. Mike (Randall, keeper) also thought he was impeded as they scored from the knock-down.
“We responded well and their keeper pulled off two great saves. When they didn’t go in we’d more or less accepted game over before they got their penalty. We have no complaints. We’ve now just got to forget about it and move on to the next game.”