Blyth Spartans manager Lee Clark has urged his players to fight for every last ball and keep believing in the final 10 games of the season.
The 2-0 defeat to Farsley Celtic means Spartans remain six points adrift from National League North safety with other clubs holding up to four games in-hand.
But Clark, while admitting each game is getting bigger and bigger, insists he is not giving up, nor should his squad.
Clark told blythspartans.com: “It’s getting more difficult by the game but we’ve got to keep going. Every game is getting bigger by the week. It goes without saying, our next one is huge.
“We seem to be feeling sorry for ourselves because we lost our talisman and the best player in the league. The players seem to be using that as a bit of an excuse because we haven’t won in the league since Callum (Roberts) left.
“We have got to show that we are better than that. Everyone has to take on that mantle and be the man to drive us forward.
“This club has got too much history to let the season peter out. We have got to fight for every ball, every minute, every yard when we’re out on the pitch.”
Spartans welcome to Kettering Town to Croft Park on Saturday before back-to-back away games at Brackley Town and Gloucester City.
Clark sees no other way than to put the Farsley defeat behind them and simply go again.
He added: “We have got to absolutely go again. There are no two ways about it. I’m not giving up. There are very much winnable games in those 10 remaining matches.
“Of course, it is going to take an almighty effort because of the points difference and other teams having games in-hand but we’ve got to believe we can do it and go on a very good winning run.
“I believe we can do it but it is no good me believing on the touchline. It’s about the players being more positive.
“We had a great opportunity on Saturday and we let it slip through our fingers but we’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again.”