Lowestoft Town are rediscovering their winning mentality
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft Town boss Ady Gallagher believes his players are finally emerging from the mental toll of National League football for the last two seasons.
The Trawlerboys endured two difficult seasons at step two of the non-league pyramid before suffering relegation on the final day of last season back to the Ryman League Premier.
Some fans expected the Blues to blaze a trail back into the National League in the Ryman but it has proved difficult for a set of players worn down by the travails of the last two seasons.
'Two years of Conference football was great but it probably took its toll on the mentality of the players,' admitted Gallagher, whose side took four points from two difficult away games at Kingstonian and Enfield in the last week. 'You get out of the habit of winning games and we are trying to rediscover the habit that we had before in this division.
'We have worked incredibly hard over the last six to eight week and we are getting a bit of reward for that.
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'We've got a bit of momentum but we have to be realistic about our chances.'
That realism Gallagher refers to comes from the Blues chief having to operate with a vastly reduced budget. Gallagher has been working with a smaller squad where the emphasis is on quality over quantity. However, when injuries and suspensions strike, it can leave the Trawlerboys vulnerable.
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Lowestoft's recent resurgence though has at least put them back within touching distance of the play-offs, albeit with several teams enjoying games in hand over them.
But Gallagher feels his squad are getting to grips with the task ahead of them despite having to contend with the absence of top scorer Jake Reed over the festive period due to a three match-suspension after seeing red in the 5-2 win at Kingstonian.
'Every team in this league wants to get promoted,' added Gallagher. 'Whatever the circumstances at Lowestoft we have always had teams that want to be competing at the top end of the table.
'That's something that comes naturally to us. We want to finish as high as possible and it's in our DNA to be successful.
'But we've got to be realistic – we've got a small squad and it only takes a couple of injuries and suspensions to makes things extremely difficult. We've got to cope without our top goalscorer (Reed) for the next three games and Shaun Bammant is a doubt as well.
'But these are the types of things that we are having to cope with as best we can.
'We haven't got a massive squad – there isn't any money around to bring new players in. But when everyone is available we know that we're more than a match for anyone in this division.'
Lowestoft entertain Worthing this afternoon (3pm) and Gallagher is hopeful of Rory McAuley returning after the defender missed the draw at Enfield through illness.
'I'm not expecting anyone else to be out. Rory should come back in and Joel Glover could be available. Rossi Jarvis is still continuing to put his body on the line for us like a true captain as well.'