Harrogate Town v Colchester United: League Two is an 'evil place' and Sulphurites cannot afford to show mercy
Simon Weaver says his Harrogate Town players must not show struggling Colchester United any mercy when the sides meet at Wetherby Road on Tuesday evening.
The Essex club head to North Yorkshire in dreadful form having won one of their last 16 games and in danger of being sucked into a relegation scrap despite their bright start to the campaign.
By contrast, Town currently find themselves on an upward trajectory having taken 18 points from the last 27 on offer, though they did suffer a first loss in four when they travelled to Stevenage last time out.
Thus, Weaver is looking for an immediate bounce-back from his players, and expects them to do everything in their power to pile more misery on their visitors.
"With Colchester, it wasn't so long ago that they were in League One," the Harrogate chief said.
"Maybe it's been a case where there's been a hangover effect from disappointments and it's led to more disappointments. It's hard to arrest that slide once you've got downward momentum.
"It is a ruthless league, and we keep saying that, but once you get on a downward spiral losing can become a habit, which is why it's so important that we keep bouncing back from disappointments and don't dwell on things because it's a pretty evil place to be is League Two when you're feeling sorry for yourselves.
"We don't want to feel sorry for Colchester at the moment, we've got to be ruthless ourselves and make sure that we have no sympathy on the night and do all we can to bounce back [from Saturday's loss] straight away."
Town's defeat to Stevenage at the weekend saw them finish up empty-handed having failed to take their chances during a game which they dominated.
It reminded Weaver of what happened last time his team took on Colchester.
"We dominated the game, it was a bit like Saturday," he said of October's 2-1 reverse in Essex.
“It was a great performance without sticking the ball in the net. There were two little instances where we could have defended better.
“The hangover from that loss was too protracted and it affected us for the next few weeks.
"We’ve got to take the merits and positives from just the performances, move on quickly and still learn and concentrate throughout games."
Harrogate came through Saturday's 1-0 loss at Stevenage unscathed and will be boosted by the return of influential centre-half Connor Hall.
The 27-year-old has missed Town's last two fixtures due to a minor hamstring strain he picked up during the closing stages of his team's victory over Grimsby on February 27.
Tuesday night's fixture kicks-off at the EnviroVent Stadium at 7pm.