Defeats are never a good thing, especially when expectations are high like they are at Kettering Town.
But joint-boss Thomas Baillie believes Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss at Bedworth United might have provided his team with a welcome “kick up the backside”.
The Poppies made the short trip to Warwickshire knowing a win would send them 10 points clear of the chasing pack in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.
Instead, Bedworth moved into second place and closed the gap to five.
The warning signs had been there last weekend as Kettering were forced to battle back from 2-0 down to beat Potters Bar Town in dramatic style at Latimer Park.
But Baillie knows his side will need to improve quickly.
They take on in-form Chalfont St Peter, a team who have already beaten Kettering in the FA Cup this season, at home tomorrow (Saturday) before heading to Hanwell Town, who are currently third, next weekend.
“Chalfont have lost less games than us but they have drawn a few,” Baillie said.
“We need to put things right after Tuesday night and we must try to get back to winning ways.
“There’s no doubt we have some very good footballers at the club but sometimes you have to win the battle before you can play that football and we didn’t do that at Bedworth.
“Things have changed below us again after that and I am sure it will change again at the weekend, that’s the sort of league it has been so far.
“We have two massive games in front of us now against teams who are right up there.
“With us losing on Tuesday, it would have given the other teams some belief.
“For us, it has hopefully given us the kick up the backside we needed.”
The Poppies will be forced into more changes with right-back James Clifton and winger Andy Hall both serving one-match bans this weekend.
Hall’s absence should mean a return for Claudiu Hoban, who was on the bench in midweek after picking up a knock.
But, regardless of what changes are made, Baillie insists there will be no excuses.
“We will have to have a look at it,” the joint-manager said.
“There certainly won’t be any excuses because we have enough players here who can play in various positions.
“Claudiu wanted to play on Tuesday but his knee was still a bit sore and we were wary that we would definitely need him for the weekend, which is why we started him on the bench.
“We made a few changes for the game at Bedworth and we will need to make a few more this weekend.”