Steve Kinniburgh insists he and his Kettering Town team-mates are ready for a “10-game season” as they look to do something they haven’t had to do for a while – bounce back from a defeat.
The Poppies’ record-breaking 21-match unbeaten run in the Calor League Division One Central finally came to an end as they went down 3-1 at fellow play-off contenders Barton Rovers on Tuesday night.
But, instead of dwelling on a rare defeat, Kettering captain Kinniburgh is already looking ahead to the final 10 games of the season, which will ultimately decide his team’s fate.
Barton leapfrogged the Poppies with that midweek success and now have a three-point cushion in the last play-off place.
However, Kettering still have 30 points to play for as they prepare for a tough trip to Uxbridge tomorrow (Saturday) to take on a team who currently top the league’s form table.
And Kinniburgh insists there is no way that all has been lost by the loss in Bedfordshire on Tuesday.
“Obviously the run was going to end at some stage and it was disappointing that is happened in a big game against another side who are chasing a play-off place,” the Poppies captain said.
“Going on a run like that doesn’t happen very often and it was great. But now it is all about how we react.
“But we have to look forward and look at what is in front of us. We have a 10-game season, which starts tomorrow and we have to pick up as many points as we can.
“We have been there to shoot down for a while with the run we have had and the support we get. Other teams have been fired up against us.
“Now we have to go and try to stop a team who are in fine form themselves. Uxbridge are top of the form table and it is going to be another tough game.
“But the lads are up for it. We have put ourselves into a great position and no-one wants to let it slip away.
“We have lost one game in the last 22 and it is only one game, maybe it is a good thing that the run is over? It is up to us to put things right.
“We have come a long way over the past few months. If you had given us the position we are in now back then, we would have snapped your hand off.”
Kinniburgh is also keen for his team to make sure the “fine margins” go in their favour from now on.
He added: “When we pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 on Tuesday we had another chance to score and a few seconds later we were 3-1 down.
“That is the way things go, the margins for error are tiny.
“We have had some luck this season and just recently maybe things haven’t fallen for us. But it is up to us the change that for ourselves.”