Harborough Town manager Stuart Spencer admitted strong words were needed during his side’s loss to Holbeach United at the weekend.
The Bees were beaten 2-0 when they hosted their Lincolnshire opponents with both goals coming inside the opening 20 minutes.
It compounded the frustration of the week before when they lost 1-0 at ON Chenecks to undo a lot of the good Christmas work which saw them collect victories over Oadby Town and Leicester Nirvana.
“I’ll be honest, there were a few harsh words at half-time,” Spencer said.
“We didn’t give them a game in the first 20 minutes and found ourselves 2-0
“We struggled there and were poor in the first half.
“We picked up in the second half but they are probably the best defensive side in the league and you can’t give them a two-goal start.
“I think there was a bit of a hangover from the Chenecks loss.
“We’d been on a decent spell of form and then we lost there.
“It was almost like we felt a bit sorry for ourselves then having to play a side in the upper reaches of the table.
“We expect better of ourselves than that.
“It does make you feel a bit like you are back to square one after the wins over Christmas.
“But we’ve recovered well from a tricky start to the season and now we need to go again.”
The chance to repair some of the damage comes at Newport Pagnell Town on Saturday.
And Spencer sees it as a good chance to bounce back and get their form going for the rest of the season.
He explained: “It’s a tough one, it’s a long trek, but we’ve got a decent record there and we’ll get stuck into it.
“On the back of two defeats we need to make sure it doesn’t become three and make sure we get some kind of return.
“If we’re honest, we’re not where we want to be in the league at the moment. We’re not where we were aiming for.
“But we still believe there is a top-eight finish for us.
“It’s a big ask at the minute but it is not unachieveable.
“We need to get some form going so we can finish the season strongly and take it with us into the summer.
“It’s an important thing.
“We found in the early part of this season that we had a knock-on effect from last season.
“Towards the end we fell away and that was carried with us into this season.
“We need to ensure the reverse of that happens this time.
“If we can climb up the table, finish strongly and take some momentum with us that can only help us.”
In Division One, Lutterworth Town remain top of the table thanks to their 5-0 victory over Holwell Sports last weekend.
They will be keen to maintain that form when they take on mid-table Rushden & Higham United on Saturday as it is their last action before the big clash with second-placed Anstey Nomads on January 19.
Lutterworth Athletic played Rushden & Higham away from home last night – their first match since the Boxing Day defeat to their town rivals – and are on the road to Northamptonshire opposition again on Saturday when they head to Thrapston Town.