Morecambe welcome Mansfield Town to the Globe Arena tomorrow with manager Jim Bentley hoping his players can end a difficult month on a high.
A fantastic February, which yielded 15 points from eight matches, has been followed by a miserable March which has seen the Shrimps lose five consecutive games.
The latest of those was Tuesday’s 2-1 home loss against Accrington Stanley which saw them drop one place to 16th in the League Two table.
Following a lengthy post-match debrief with his players, Bentley outlined what went wrong and what he expects to see on Saturday.
“They were in full agreement with what I was saying,” he said.
“I want to see a little bit more fight, desire and endeavour because it was too easy for Accrington in the first half.
“There were little spells where we got our act together and, second half, we had a go at the start but conceded a second goal which was due to an individual error – and there have been too many of those.
“We had a go in the last 25 minutes and showed what we’re all about but it’s down to them to come out fighting on Saturday and have a good go.
“We have to break the cycle that we’re on, even if it’s only a point.
“If we’re going to get beaten then I want to see them clapped off but they didn’t do enough throughout the whole game on Tuesday.
“It’s no good having a go towards the end; if we had come away with a 2-2 draw we’d have thought we had stolen that.
“If we lose on Saturday then I want to see the players putting their shirts in the skip and saying they had no regrets because they couldn’t have done any more.”
There had been hopes going into March that the Shrimps could make a late bid for the top half of the table.
February’s form had offered some optimism, as well as a fixture list which featured home games against Yeovil Town, Newport County and Stanley.
All three of those teams were below Morecambe in the table but all of them have beaten the Shrimps.
“I’ll take it on the chin because it’s my team and I picked it,” Bentley said.
“However, once they go over the white line, they have to have more about them than they did on Tuesday.
“In February we couldn’t do anything wrong and it’s mad how football goes from one extreme to the other.”