TO LOSE three games in a week obviously feels like we are going backwards.

But I never got carried away by being top of the table in the first place. I was not expecting us to be in that position so early in the season as we are not yet ready to be there. Strange as it may seem, when we were top of the league, some of the lads were still not playing with confidence.

We set up differently against Totton because I thought our usual 4-3-3 might have been a little too gung ho.

We played a more conservative 4-5-1 with the idea of containing them and I thought we did a steady job. They certainly did not open us up.

We battled away gamely but there was a lack of belief from my players.

Totton have a lot of quality in their side – in fact, they are as strong as I have seen this season. It was two pieces of real quality that led to their goals.

There was a very good dribble leading up to the first goal and a willingness to chase a lost cause that helped set up the second. Having said that, they probably only had three or four shots on target the whole game, We went for it in the last half hour with two up front and caused them some problems but we just ran out of time.

The run of defeats won’t affect this side. We have a lot more characters than we did last season and they will do what is necessary to get us back in line – that is, to work hard.

We need to get a win in the Cup at Cinderford on Tuesday night so I will be fielding as strong a side as possible to stop the run.

Having said that, we are very short on numbers again.

Neil Griffiths still has the shin problem which kept him out of the Totton game and probably will not be risked, although I would hope he is back on Saturday against Windsor & Eton.

Matt Sysum (Cup-tied), Freddy Ward (injured) and Jody Bevan (away) all miss Cinderford.

On Saturday, Tom Etheridge and Lyndon Tompkins will be serving their one-match bans, while Matt has to sit out the VT FC game on November 21 after being sent off in his first match back with us against Frome.

We will also be without Rob Hoskin on Saturday because he has an important schoolboys’ trial match 24 hours later. He has done very well for us and came along at just the right time after the injury to Carl Brown.

We could do with him on Saturday but how can we stand in the lad’s way when he has a chance of playing for England Schoolboys?