John Ramshaw knows Kettering Town must produce an immediate reaction after their miserable afternoon at Dorchester Town on Saturday.
The Poppies crashed to their second defeat of the Evo-Stik South League Premier campaign as they were beaten 4-1 in Dorset while their misery was compounded by a red card for loan defender Marshall Willock who had only been on the pitch for just over a minute before receiving his marching orders.
Having trailed 2-0 at half-time, Rene Howe’s goal gave Kettering a glimmer of hope but the hosts scored twice more to condemn Marcus Law’s team to defeat.
The performance prompted Law and his staff to apologise to the travelling fans after the game and the loss saw them drop to fifth in the table - seven points behind leaders King’s Lynn Town.
Head coach Ramshaw conceded it was an “off-day” for the Poppies and he believes they need a positive response when they head to Daventry Town in the quarter-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
The winners of that tie will host AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the last four while Kettering will then resume their league campaign with a clash against Gosport Borough at Latimer Park on Saturday.
“It was a really bad day at the office, we just never got going if I am being honest,” said Ramshaw as he reflected on the defeat at Dorchester.
“Our best player was a six out of 10 at most. It was an off-day when the entire squad under-performed and it was extremely disappointing.
“It’s a conundrum for us. There is lots to think about. It could be that there was an attitude that we were playing a Dorchester team in a game we were expected to win and maybe we went in with that mental apathy.
“And then we look at our other bad result in the league this season, which was another long trip to Weymouth and maybe we have to look at how we are preparing for the longer trips.
“Either way, the performance wasn’t good enough and we all know that.
“I don’t think any player goes out to play badly, it was just one of those days where everybody under-performed.
“The big thing now is to make sure we bounce back. We have a chance to do that at Daventry and if we can then it will put us in the right frame of mind for Gosport on Saturday, which is obviously a very important game for us.”