Mark Saunders maintains belief in Tiverton Town squad
Manager Mark Saunders says his Tiverton Town players have no reason to feel despondent ahead of tonight's visit of Clevedon Town, despite going seven matches without tasting victory.
The Yellows entertain the Somerset side at Ladysmead off the back of a 4-1 defeat away to Didcot Town, which left them clinging on to fifth spot in Division One South and West of the Evo-Stik League Southern by just two points.
That run has seen them slide from top of the table, and they missed a host of clear chances last Saturday – including a Joe Bushin penalty – before losing th match by a convincing scoreline.
Saunders feels there were a number of positives his players can carry into the Clevedon match, but he urged them not to repeat their mistakes the last time the teams met, when the Seasiders won an FA Cup preliminary round tie 2-0 back in August.
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"I just hope we don't go backwards after Saturday's defeat because there is no reason for us to do that," said Saunders, who will be without Dave Pearse for the immediate future with a groin strain.
"I'm hoping we can grow in confidence because the only thing really to be disappointed about is the scoreline.
"We're not playing badly at the moment, but we did not put our chances away and that cost us. Two thirds of the game, I thought we did well. I could see the lads tiring at the end but that was just a little lack of match fitness, and that will come.
"We got forward well, created lots of chances but also missed lots of chances. The only thing missing from us on the day really was us actually putting the ball in the back of the net.
"Ironically, that is the problem we had when we last faced Clevedon, so we need to make sure we don't do it again."
Tiverton's winless run, which now dates back to a 2-0 win at home to Wimborne Town in mid-November, has included four draws from the last five games. Echoing midfielder Kevin Hill's recent comments, Saunders conceded his side must go on the hunt for maximum points, even if it increases the risk of conceding goals.
"We've been drawing too many games – we've drawn nine so far and we need to get a few more wins," he admitted. "If just a couple of the games we've drawn this season had been wins, then we would have four more points and be well clear of Paulton.
"It is like Kevin Hill said last week, I would rather see us win one and lose on than draw to because you get an extra point. We need to get a few more wins on the board and start picking up more points."