ALTON manager Kevin Adair wants his side 'to get nasty' as they fight for Combined Counties Premier South.
The Brewers went down 3-0 at leaders Raynes Park Vale last week.
“It was a tough game. They’re top of the league for a reason – they were very efficient, very organised and they knew what they were doing," said Brewers manager Kevin Adair.
“They put us under pressure and were clinical when they had chances, and didn’t give us too many opportunities all afternoon.
“It was a tough day at the office.”
They entertain fifth-placed Colliers Wood tomorrow (Saturday), and then have a run of kinder fixtures.
And it is those games which will determine the Brewers’ fate this season, says Adair.
“After Colliers Wood we have nine games to play – as well as cup matches – and we want to get some serious points from them.
“Six of those games are against sides below us in the league and we don’t play anyone higher than ninth in the table.
“We had edged away from the bottom of the league recently but we have played more games than most others.
“The sides at the bottom are picking up points and are closing the gap, but I’d like to think we can pick up enough wins to secure our safety.
“It’s by no means over yet for us – there’s a long way to go and there’s no way our players can start winding down yet.”
Adair wants his side to stop being so ‘nice’ in future, too.
“The thing all the top teams have are big leaders in key areas through the middle – centre half, centre midfield and centre forward,” he said.
“That’s something we don’t really have at the moment.
“We have started working on what we need to do next year to get closer to the top teams. Assuming we don’t change competitions again in the summer, the aim will be to try to break into the top eight.
“We won’t be setting any unrealistic targets but I think that would be achievable if I can keep the bulk of this season’s squad.
“If I could go out and hand-pick three players I would choose the three down the middle.
“And we need a couple of big egos in the changing room. We have a really good changing room but in this league you have to have a bit of nastiness in some areas, a mental toughness.
“We are probably a little bit fragile for this league, a bit nice. We try to play.”
The game kicks off at Anstey Park at 3pm.