Simon Weaver gave his Harrogate Town squad a stern reminder of his expectations after missing a second opportunity to nail down a place in the end of season play-offs.
Weaver locked his players in the dressing room following Saturday’s defeat at AFC Fylde and admitted apprehension had crept into his camp.
The boss explained said: “The closer you get to something, which is so big for us all, there’s an element of apprehension that can creep in and it’s been there with a few lads recently.
“I have challenged the players and asked them, ‘Do you want to go to that next step? Are you hungry enough to do it?’
“We have built everything on attitude this season. Now it’s time to confront fears and relish the situation we are in.
Town were without influential players Brendon Daniels (suspended), Lewis Turner and Danny Ellis (both injured) for the trip to the coast and his side were largely second best against a side also targeting a jump into the National League Premier.
“The players we missed was quite telling. There’s more juice in the tank that we could have spent after. That’s why I kept them in for a while after for some time. Everyone has to be made aware what is expected every time they cross the line.
“Judging by that performance, they have opened the door for other players to come back into the team.”
Daniels, Turner and Ellis will come back to the Town fold to face Corby Town on Saturday, while Weaver has also been boosted by Dominic Knowles’ return to fitness.
Knowles has missed the final month of the season with a severe bout of pleurisy but trained on Monday and joined in with a 11-a-side training match on Tuesday.
He is likley to be part of the 16-man squad to face Corby.