Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law is challenging his players to stand up and be counted as the Reds head into the toughest possible FA Trophy third qualifying round tie at Nuneaton Town this Saturday.
Law criticised the attitude and desire of some of his players after a 2-1 home league defeat against Boston United last weekend and he is well aware of what is required against league leaders Nuneaton in the Trophy.
“It is another difficult game but they will all be difficult until the players realise what this division and non league football is about” said Law.
“If you look at the two sides in the top three who have narrowly beaten us, North Ferriby and Boston United, they are big, strong, direct and committed and, unless we realise that it’s not all about ability and looking good, we will not pick results up consistently.
“At the end of the season it will be teams that have been strong and committed that succeed, like we did a few years ago when we won it. Yes we could play, but we had players with big desire and at the minute I am not seeing that.
“It has to hurt to lose and you have to be willing to go the extra yard to win. At the minute too many of our players aren’t willing or capable of doing that so somehow, with limited resources, we have to find players that are willing, and if we cannot bring those in, we will have to work with what we have got.
“You can organise teams and coach technique, get players fitter, but you cannot coach desire and at the minute, we haven’t got enough of it. That’s what lesser players do, work harder and play for each other, not just themselves.
“It needs to be a case of ‘we’ not ‘me’ mentality” ended Law.
The Reds travel to face Nuneaton for their second time in three weeks and will be looking for a better performance and result than the 2-0 defeat suffered in the league on November 7 when they were sunk by two second half goals.
As well as a place in the first round proper, there is £4,000 prize money available for the winners of the tie.
Should a replay be required against Nuneaton, this will be staged at the Impact Arena next Tuesday, December 1st, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Meanwhile, Alfreton have released former Sheffield United defender Jason Paling from his contract by mutual consent.
The right-back joined the Reds four days before the start of the season but has been unable to break into the side. He departs having made no starts and just five appearances from the bench in the league.