Gainsborough Trinity boss Liam King said Saturday’s home clash with Mickleover Sports had become a ‘must win’ game as their poor start to the season continued with a 2-0 defeat at leaders South Shields last night.
The Holy Blues turned in a battling display which took a Jon Shaw goal in the fourth minute of added time to kill them off, despite having lost Ashley Worsfold to a 67th minute red card.
But it left them with just four points from the first seven games and King said: “The lads put a great shift in, but we didn’t get the points.
“So, at the end of the day, Saturday is now a ‘must win’ game.
“If you’re doing well in the league and had a good start to the season, you come here and put in a performance like that, there are no questions asked.
“What happens when you are in a bad run of form is you end up looking at every single thing and how you can make it different.
“But me and Ross (Hannah, assistant) will stick to what we’re doing and what we believe in.
“The lads need to try to be positive and channel that. You can only go so far down the confidence route.”
He continued: “Confidence is really important in football, but it’s how you get out of it and that’s where we need them to step up.
“We have had a tough run of fixtures and we should have had more points.
“But that’s been and gone now and, as I have said to the lads, we have got to move on to Saturday, produce a really good performance and, hopefully, win the game.”
A deflected Josh Gillies goal just three minutes from half-time had Trinity chasing the game and King said: “This is a tough place to come and goals at key times have killed us.
“We’ve had a good first half, then they’ve scored just before half-time with a deflection.
“But going in I was happy as there was not a lot in the game.
“South Shields are going to have a lot of possession at this level. They are a really good side. But they didn’t trouble us and we coped with them well.
“At half-time I had to pick them up again as they are really low in confidence at the minute.”
Trinity’s task was made harder by the red card for Worsfold, a dismissal that left King baffled.
“We have come out second half and done all right and stayed in the game,” he said.
“We got to a position and were about to make a change when for some reason the referee suddenly held a red card up.
“I thought it was just a standard foul. Anyone who knows Ash Worsfold knows he’s not got that in him.
“It wasn’t a red and none of their players appealed for it. But it doesn’t matter. Regardless, we’ve lost a game of football in the end.
“To play at South Shields with 10 men for 20-25 minutes is not ideal.
“The lads dug in and tried to nick one and Joe Maguire had a chance at the end which went over the bar before they scored their second.”
After the Mickleover Sports clash, Trinity have another home game on Tuesday against Bamber Bridge as they bid to start climbing the BetVictor NPL Premier table.