Thomas Baillie has urged his Kettering Town players to show their powers of recovery again when they head to Northamptonshire rivals Daventry Town on Saturday.
The Poppies suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Northwood at the weekend as they missed the opportunity to move eight points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.
However, Kettering still hold a five-point lead at the summit and Baillie is hoping they can bounce back in the right manner at Communications Park.
“The Christmas fixtures tend to throw up some strange results so we must be better and ensure we perform to our best,” the joint-boss said.
“Daventry have been scrapping away. They had a great result at the weekend (when they beat AFC Hayes 2-0) and they have had a number of close games recently.
“It is a game we need to win. We have tended to bounce back quite well when we have had setbacks this season and now we must do it again.”
Baillie, meanwhile, insists he remains happy with the position the Poppies find themselves in.
Top of the league on Christmas Day, Kettering have their fate in their own hands for the second half of the season and he is keen to ensure that Saturday’s setback at Northwood is “put to bed quickly”.
“We had the opportunity to go eight points clear but if somebody had said at the start of the season that we would be five points clear, I think everyone would have taken it,” he added.
“Our form against the teams at the top has been very good but it hasn’t been great in games we have been expected to win and that is a concern.
“Teams will lose matches, we will lose matches. You can’t beat everyone. We need to put this one to bed quite quickly and move on.”