BARRY Yeo wants his Barnstaple Town players to believe in themselves.
A lack of self-belief was evident in the first half of their 2-1 defeat to Evo-Stik League Southern promotion hopefuls Tiverton Town.
Barnstaple trailed 2-0 at half-time but put in an excellent second-half effort to almost snatch a draw.
Manager Yeo is now eager for them to carry that form forward.
“We just have to believe and trust ourselves,” he said. “If you keep believing in what you are doing you will be all right.
“(In the) first half we didn’t have that belief. If we had, it might have been a different result.
“Tiverton are second in the league, flying high, have money we haven’t and that is the gulf.
“When you’re at the top things go for you and at the bottom it doesn’t, but we have got to keep working and persevering with what we have got.”
Despite slipping to a ninth defeat in 10 league games, there were plenty of positives to come from the game.
One of those was the performance of midfielder Ross Middleton on his Southern League debut.
With Lee Francis (suspended) and Jack Jenkins (injured) missing, Middleton made the step up from the North Devon League look seamless.
“Ross came in and I thought he was great for us,” said Yeo. “He broke everything up, was involved in a lot of the play and did a great job.
“We know we miss an experienced head in the middle of the park and Ross kept his ground well, helped players around him and was vocal.
“The way he went about his business, he did very well for his first Southern League game and was a big plus for us.”
Barnstaple are back at Mill Road on Saturday when they host Larkhall Athletic.