Huntingdon face a daunting festive period as they bid to avoid being cast adrift at the bottom of the United Counties League Premier Division for the second successive season.
Town are seven points adrift at the foot of the standings ahead of tonight’s derby date with high-flying Eynesbury Rovers at Jubilee Park, 7.45pm.
And they then make the short trip to Yaxley on Tuesday – the venue of a 12-0 drubbing in the FA Cup on the opening day of the season.
But boss Bob Warby remains in upbeat mood and believes an upturn in form is not far away, despite six successive league defeats.
He said: “Eynesbury are going really well and I genuinely hope they can gain promotion this season.
“Their manager, Mark Ducket, has done a great job since taking over last season and I have huge respect for him, but it’s fair to say the challenges he faces are an entirely different kettle of fish to those I face at Huntingdon.
“Yaxley is another really tough one. Playing on their 3G is unfamiliar to my boys, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse if beaten. The ball is still round and the goals are still the same size.
“We need a couple of strong performances to head into a big January when we have games where winning is a priority.
“We have under-performed drastically so far, but there is something special bubbling away in the squad and I look forward to the day when we deliver on our potential.
“I sense that it will be something special to behold and is the reason we continue to believe.”
Warby was left doubting his managerial ability after what he described as an ‘awful’ performance in the first half of a 5-3 defeat at Wellingborough Town last Saturday.
His men trailed 3-0 at the break before being much-improved in the second period when finding the net through Giuliano Staffieri, James Seymour and the returning Gui Mailancol.
They also saw two strong penalty appeals turned down on a day when they could well have picked up a positive result.
Warby added: “I thought I was an okay manager, but I’m clearly hopeless based on that awful 45 minutes. It was the worst I’ve ever seen us play . . . and we’ve had some bad games.
“We couldn’t pass wind, let alone the ball, our shape was non-existent, and all the Wellingborough goals were of our making.
“But I asked the lads to go out and win the second half – and they did just that even though another big decision went against us.
“We showed what we can produce and now need to deliver it for 90 minutes.”