AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor has demanded a response from his side when promotion-hopefuls Darlington 1883 visit on Saturday.
The Coasters slipped to their fifth defeat of the National North campaign at Nuneaton last weekend, when their lead was cut to six points.
Fylde have responded with positive results after their previous four disappointments and Challinor is looking for a similar reaction.
He said: “We trained on Sunday and went through the game. Some of the lads then played in a development game on Monday night but beyond that we’ve trained normally.
“We have always responded after we have lost this season and we will look to again. We are still in a great position.
“We watched Darlington recently and we know from the game at their place (a 1-1 draw in November) that it will be tough. They like to get the ball forward quickly. They will be a threat with Mark Beck up top and have very good delivery from set-pieces. They are on a decent run and have everything to play for.
“I’d love to be miles ahead but we are still clear at the top, and although Kidderminster still have a game in hand we have the points on the board and a better goal difference.
“Around Christmas we had a total we wanted to get to as quickly as possible and that’s still the case.
“Ultimately it’s where you are on April 29 that matters. Our focus is to make sure we’re still top at 5pm that day.”
Challinor had some good news on the injury front. “It’s good news with most of them,” he said. “This game may come too soon for a couple but Josh Langley has trained this week and David Morgan will potentially join in on Thursday.
Dom Collins and Steve Williams have trained too, so it’s looking much more positive. We want everyone fit and we should be a lot stronger.
“James Hardy played a few minutes against Kidderminster and Stockport, and he was a little tender afterwards. He played 45 minutes at Nuneaton and had no reaction at all. It will be great to have him back because he is a big player for us with his creativity and the positions he gets into.”
The Coasters’ backline has been cursed with injuries and Challinor said: “The defensive situation has been frustrating over the whole season but we can’t come up with excuses. A couple of years ago we had the best defensive record in the league because we managed to get pretty much the same team out every week.
“This season we have had several injuries but we just have to get on with it. Changing the back four hasn’t been costing us goals – individual errors have.
“If everyone has the mentality that ‘over my dead body that ball goes in our net’ we give ourselves a good chance, regardless of who we put out there.” DANIEL AGNEW