Burton Park Wanderers boss Luke Smith has called for his strugglers to follow their captain’s example.
Smith has seen Wanderers take just one point from seven games since he took over following Jimmy Simpson’s resignation.
Last weekend, they lost 2-1 at Bugbrooke in a basement battle and for Smith, the performance of skipper Carl Moran was one of the few highlights.
Despite having a heel injury, Moran played the whole 90 minutes and Smith says that’s the sort of character that can haul Wanderers off the bottom of the table. Smith, whose side host Buckingham Town tomorrow (Saturday), said: “Carl will run through brick walls for this team and we really need 11 players like him.
“It’s going to be a fight this season and against Bugbrooke last week, too many players weren’t up for that fight.
“That was a very winnable game, but too many players went missing. If the players aren’t up for the fight, I will have to look elsewhere.
“But what happened at Bugbrooke last week was out of character. I don’t know why it happened and I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again.
“There’s definitely a lot of potential in this squad, but they have to apply themselves. They have to stand up and be counted.”
Smith made an addition to his squad this week, going back to former club Harborough Town to bring in goalkeeper Josh Knowles.
“We’ve been struggling for a keeper and Josh can make a huge difference,” said Smith.
“He’s out of the picture at Harborough, but I’m sure he can do a job for us here.”
Smith wants to add more players, but admits he may struggle to bring his transfer targets to Latimer Park.
He said: “We have a lot of youngsters here who have the potential to be very good UCL players, but this is their first year at this level, so it’s difficult for them.
“They need a bit of guidance from players who know all about the UCL.
“We do have experienced players in the squad, but we could do with a few more.
“Recruiting players is proving to be difficult.
“There are players out there who would rather play in the Combination than come to the UCL and test themselves.”
Stewarts & Lloyds have a top-of-the-table showdown with Potton United at Occupation Road tomorrow.
S&L were held to a 3-3 draw by Bourne Town on Tuesday night and Potton leapfrogged them into second place after a 3-2 success at Olney Town.
It’s derby day at Alfred Street as sixth-placed Irchester United host Thrapston Town, who are just two places below them.
Another high-flying team, Rushden & Higham United head to Long Buckby while Raunds Town are also on the road at Bourne.
Whitworth, meanwhile, have home advantage as they take on Bugbrooke at London Road.