Nicky Eaden believes his Kettering Town players know they will have to “roll their sleeves up” when they head to Darlington this weekend.
The Poppies have been left to reflect on a mixed start to the new season.
They enjoyed a dream return to the Vanarama National League North on Saturday as they fought back from a goal down and being reduced to 10 men to beat AFC Telford United 2-1 at Latimer Park.
Joel Carta and Dan Nti grabbed the goals to give them the winning start with the latter’s winner coming late on in the game after Sam Cartwright had been sent off after conceding a penalty, which was then brilliantly saved by Paul White.
But they were brought back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday evening as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at King’s Lynn Town, Brett Solkhon scoring what proved to be a late consolation.
Kettering are now gearing up for a long trek to Darlington on Saturday and while Eaden was left disappointed by the midweek setback, he is hoping it can be turned into a positive.
“In the scheme of things, it might not have been a bad thing,” the Poppies boss said.
“You never want to lose but if we were heading up to Darlington this weekend after snatching a win or a draw on Tuesday then there would be that possibility that the players would become complacent.
“But, after Tuesday, they have had another reminder that you have to roll your sleeves up and that’s what we will have to do at Darlington.”
Eaden stuck with the same starting line-up on Tuesday night after seeing his team perform so well at the weekend.
But, with the likes of Marcus Kelly, Gary Stohrer and Brett Solkhon all making positive impacts from the bench during the two matches so far, it may have given the manager food for thought.
“It would have been really harsh on any player if we had changed the starting 11 after what they did on Saturday,” Eaden added.
“But what I did say to them was that performance at the weekend was the standard that they set for themselves and it’s the standard they have to reach every time.
“I look at the bench and there is no-one on there who would make the team weaker, if anything the could make it stronger.
“I am certainly not saying there will be wholesale changes for this weekend but we will have a look at it again and see what we can tweak.”
The Poppies’ clash at Darlington is followed by more midweek action as they take on Chester at Latimer Park on Tuesday night.