Gary Mills was able to reflect on some “huge positives” despite another defeat for Corby Town on Tuesday night.
The Steelmen suffered a 2-1 defeat at county rivals AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the first round of the Integro League Cup.
Connor Kennedy’s excellent strike gave them late hope after Liam Dolman had scored twice for Diamonds at the Dog & Duck but they were unable to find an equaliser.
But boss Mills was far from downbeat after his team turned in a much-improved display following the disastrous 5-1 loss at fellow strugglers Sutton Coldfield Town last weekend, which has left them in big trouble at the bottom of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division.
“There were some huge positives,” Mills said.
“Yes, we don’t like losing football matches but the desire that we lacked on Saturday they showed in abundance.
“They played for me, they played for the club and they played for the fans who were at the game with huge pride.
“It was one-way traffic for most of the second half. We kept the ball in their half and I am disappointed we haven’t scored more than we did.
“But the build-up play, the way we moved the ball and the energy we showed was much more like it.
“It wasn’t easy going there, Andy Peaks has got that club going in the right direction.
“But in the second half I thought we were very good and I thought we dominated them.”
The Steelmen will now be in action at Steel Park this Saturday.
They had been scheduled to travel to Marine but they are in the FA Trophy first round after beating Darlington 3-2 on Tuesday night.
But Corby will have a game after they re-arrranged their home clash with current leaders Rushall Olympic. The game will kick-off at 3pm on Saturday.