Ian Burchnall has called for perspective as Notts County look to return to winning ways against promotion rivals Bromley.
Notts suffered a minor setback on Tuesday night when they were held goalless by lowly Wealdstone, which brought to an end their run of six straight wins.
The result left the Magpies in eighth, two points off the play-offs but only four points off the top in a congested National League promotion race.
Burchnall’s men head south to fourth-placed Bromley on Saturday knowing that a victory could put them back into the play-off places.
Despite an underwhelming result at Wealdstone on Tuesday night, the Notts boss is keen to look at the big picture.
“I know last night’s game was disappointing but we do need to make sure we keep perspective, we haven’t lost a game since November.
“That is why it is so important that we are consistent otherwise we would be miles off the pace,” he added.
Pointing to promotion rivals also dropping points, Burchnall said: “We are clearly disappointed with our result on Tuesday, but we look around the league and Chesterfield lost at Maidenhead and I know Wrexham went there and lost earlier in the season.
“These places are never easy to go and there will be a few surprises before the end of the season.”
Covid-related postponements, in particular last Friday night against Barnet, have been frustrating Burchnall and his team: “There’s so much work from everyone that goes into the one game and then just a few hours before kick off it gets called off – obviously everyone is disappointed.”
Despite the Wealdstone match being the first time that the Pies had played in the league in two weeks: “The reason why I don’t want to use it as excuse for not delivering is because these are things that are outside of our control, so it is pointless blaming them.
“There are still plenty of things that are under our control that we can improve on,” said the Notts boss.
Notts’ passing style of play lends itself to regular fixtures in order to create a rhythm.
“Games like Dagenham, Southend and the Wrexham game we were fantastic. We know it is there so we need to get back into that rhythm and we will be fine.”
The battle for promotion at the top of the National League is an eight-horse race.
Over the top eight’s last five games there have been just six defeats from 40 matches.
“Top of the table Stockport have been excellent of late and yet we are six points and two games in hand off them. So we are also clearly very good. It makes for an unbelievably exciting second half of the season.”
Promotion-rivals Bromley lie in wait for Notts on Saturday: “Andy [Woodman] has done a brilliant job there. He has galvanised a team that work so hard together. They are physical, they work hard and they’re really strong with their set plays and they are very well organised,” said Burchnall.
Bromley, and their Hayes Lane ground, pose the challenge of a plastic pitch, something Burchnall in particular is familiar with: “When I was at Ostersund we had a plastic pitch. We found it a massive advantage – especially when it was wet – because teams would try and press us and we could just play through them because of the surface.
“It sounds strange, but I hope it is wet because that will really suit us. It was dry as a bone there last year which wasn’t great, so I will be doing my rain dance on the way down to London.”