Keeping cool is vital in rebuilding team's confidence, says Lincoln City boss
With a defence leaking eight goals in the space of two games, Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth explained to the Echo's John Pakey why keeping cool is vital in rebuilding his team's confidence ahead of facing Wrexham
It is not the first time this season that Lincoln City boss David Holdsworth has called on people to be understanding of their plight.
The Imps manager has laid it out plain and simple since August that this campaign was never going to be an easy one.
And with a defence that has shipped eight goals in its last two matches, that call for compassion has come again as he tries to rebuild confidence ahead of the visit of Wrexham on Saturday.
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"As a former defender myself the last two games have been very frustrating," said Holdsworth.
"Coach Grant Brown and I played centre-back in our careers, and we work very hard with the lads on the training ground.
"And then when we concede it is very frustrating, especially as those goals haven't come by magic, they've been because mistakes have crept in."
Those mistakes have frustrated fans as much as the staff.
But while they are free to vent their fury from the stands, Holdsworth believes that a different approach is needed behind the scenes.
"It is crucial that there is confidence in the whole back five," he said.
"The goalkeeper needs to be confident and comfortable in organising the defence. They all feed off each other in that respect.
"To make that happen, I've got to have belief in them and I do because they are good trainers.
"They have a model approach to training. And, as a manager, I will not lose faith in them.
"After the match against Newport there was no shouting or screaming and no tea cups being thrown around.
"We focused on what happened and discussed it.
"It is important to pick the players up. You have to be constructive when you are in these situations.
"They are young men and you have to give them support and treat them with respect.
"But the level of their performance has to increase and we'll see to that in a constructive way."
Facing them on Saturday at the 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium is a Wrexham team gunning for promotion.
The Blue Square Bet Premier big-hitters have pulled together an impressive team and Holdsworth admits he is cautious of the task in front of him this weekend.
"They are talented," said Holdsworth. "Neil Ashton is the best left-back in the league and in midfield they have a lot of creativity and fluidity which is orchestrated by Dean Keates.
"It is up front that they have some good talent. Daniel Wright has been impressive as has Adrian Cieslewicz.
"Then Andy Morrell, their player manager, knows where the goal is and they also have Brett Ormerod, who with his experience is a real signature signing at this level."
Holdsworth hopes that home comforts can come into play at Sincil Bank.
The manager believes that everyone connected with the club knows the situation and will rally round.
"The great thing is that we are at home. The supporters are with the players here and they know what we are dealing with this season," he said.
"It's massively important that people are understanding of the circumstance we are in.
"This is the first season for some of these players.
"They have progressed well and maybe a dip in form is expected at some point.
"This is about understanding these young players are not as mentally strong as the experienced ones are.
"We have done well in the past and now our confidence has taken a bit of a knock.
"But we have to keep going and keep motivating the players."
What shape Holdsworth's team will take on Saturday is up in the air.
The Newport defeat saw Andrew Boyce and Alan Power added to an injury list that includes midfielders Mo Fofana and Gary Mills and defender Peter Gilbert.
"The injuries we are going through are a big blow to us," said Holdsworth.
"We could really do with some of them coming back sooner or later as we do miss them.
"We have seen what we are capable of when we have had a settled team. Continuity gives you that confidence and strength. If you lose a player, and cannot replace him with the same standard, you are going to struggle."