You could be forgiven for believing Corby Town head to Nuneaton Town as a team with nothing to lose tomorrow (Saturday).
The Steelmen make the short trip into Warwickshire on the back of a remarkable defeat to Vanarama National League North rivals Tamworth in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy last weekend.
After 72 minutes, Tommy Wright’s men led 2-1 and looked fairly comfortable.
But just eight minutes later, they were 5-2 down and were eventually beaten 6-2 after the most incredible capitulation.
The defeat has left Corby with nothing else to focus on apart from survival in the league.
And, after such a beating, the last thing they probably need is a trip to the leaders, who have suffered just three defeats this season.
That game is now followed by a re-arranged clash with Stockport County at Steel Park a week tomorrow.
And, not for the first time this season, Wright knows his team need to “put it right”.
“I think we have got a lot to lose because our pride has taken a big, massive kick in the teeth,” the Steelmen boss said.
“I always say you are only as good as your last game.
“I feel the same as the fans. They were walking out with 15 minutes to go and that hurt me.
“They sent a message with their feet but, to be honest, I think I would have preferred it if they had stayed until the end and then booed the lads off the pitch because that’s what it deserved.
“For 72 minutes last weekend we didn’t look like a bad side but for the final 18 we looked awful.
“We went from being team that I could be really proud of to being one I was ashamed of.
“It just shows once again that we can’t afford to perform for 45 or 72 minutes. We have to do it across 90.
“We now have two very tough games with the Stockport match being brought forward and we have to go and put things right.”
Wright, meanwhile, has praised former Corby boss Kevin Wilson for the job he has done in steering Nuneaton to the summit.
The Steelmen will come up against other familiar faces this weekend with the likes of Shane Byrne, who helped Corby to Southern League title glory last season, and striker Kabongo Tshimanga who was on loan at Steel Park from Milton Keynes Dons earlier in the current campaign, within their ranks.
Nuneaton run as a full-time club and Wright said: “I speak to Kevin a lot.
“As a club, they have taken a calculated gamble by going full-time but the truth is there are clubs in this league who have bigger budgets than they have.
“They have taken a lot of young ex-professionals and given them the chance to stay in full-time football.
“Those players will be looking to use Nuneaton as a stepping stone and clearly, their approach has worked well for them so far.
“Kevin has a good reputation for developing players and he has done a good job there.
“We know it is going to be a tough game against the best side in the league at the moment.”