We need to improve our defending and play with more intensity

It’s nearly a week on but there’s still an element of disappointment after we conceded such a late goal in the 1-0 defeat to Edgar Davids’ Barnet last weekend.

The lads were superb, and they showed great character and spirit which should hold them in good stead for the rest of the league season.

I think we outnumbered them on chances – if we’d taken a couple of the ones we’d created then it could have been a different story.

Maybe we were just mentally shattered from the effort we’d put in, but we switched off in the final couple of minutes and conceded.

There was some disappointment in the dressing room afterwards, obviously. It would have been nice to have got a replay and gone to The Hive, which is a really nice new ground.

But as a coaching staff it’s our jobs to pick them up and reflect on the positives not the negatives.

There weren’t any positives, however, from Tuesday’s Middlesex Senior Cup defeat to Harefield United of the Spartan South Midlands League – three levels below us.

We fielded a first-team side but we just didn’t turn up, losing 3-0. You could put it down to maybe mental fatigue and the effort they put in against Barnet and Ebbsfleet, two very intense games.

I don’t want to take anything away from Harefield, they outplayed and outfought us. It was a big scalp for them – they raised their game but our boys were poor.

Ideally I’d have had the lads in on Wednesday to get the rust out of their legs and their minds. But that’s one of the big problems with being part-time; the fact you don’t get to work with the players on a day-to-day basis.

One thing we are working on is restoring our defensive solidity. We’ve done some analysis of the goals we’ve conceded and there’s probably a couple of little tweaks we need to make.

We maybe need to have a chat about our mindset, in terms of the intensity of our defending and stopping balls coming into our box before they do any damage.

If we can put some of the work we’ve done into practice our results will turn for the better.

Clean sheets are vitally important. We’ve never really been played off the park, so if we can cut out the individual errors we’ll soon get back to our best.

The first test of that will come on Saturday against Tonbridge, who we meet for the third time this season.

We’ve already drawn with them at home, in the FA Cup, and they lost in midweek, so they’ll be a bit of a wounded tiger.

We need to get back to winning ways – we certainly don’t want to have a third league defeat in a row.

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