Saltdean United boss Wayne Smith compared his misfiring side to a car’s engine that needs ‘fine-tuning’.
The Tigers have lost their last four games including a 4-1 Saturday reverse at Steyning Town.
Smith said: “We have struggled in the last couple of games and went out of both cups (John O’Hara, to Ringmer 3-0; and FA Vase, 4-2 to Southwick extra time).
“Last Saturday (week against Southwick) we were up against a side that were county 2 last year but were relegated because their ground wasn’t up to scratch. But they are a county 2 side (in all but name), by any stretch of the imagination they are. They have got some ex-county 1 side players playing for them.
“We have still got seven out injured and we had to take a player off during the game (James Bentley against Steyning Town) because of a recurrence of a (hip) injury. We tried to play him on but he was doing it more damage.
“Steyning are top of the table and deserve to be there. Their manager gets them playing right. They’re a good side and a busy side.
“We went in 1-0 down at half time but it should have been 1-1. Ryan (Walton) missed a penalty. He hit it straight at the keeper which wasn’t like him. It’s usually like him to score.”
He joked: “We slated him a bit in the dressing room afterwards! But I gave him a tap on the shoulder and told him everybody misses them sometimes.
“I still think had we played at our potential we could have given them a run for their money.
“But when you have got so many players out injured you go with what you’ve got, and you’ve got to be confident with the players you have got to do the job – and we are.
“It’s a bit like fine tuning a car. We’re not far for being a good side that will turn teams over.”
Graham Page was back from injury on Saturday and Dean Ghamsari played – and scored – having eased some of his work commitment issues.
Smith is after two or three players, including one from a county 1 side.
With Saltdean at home to Broadbridge Heath in the Division 2 Cup tomorrow, Smith said: “They’re a good side, they’ll be there or thereabouts.
“But we’ll pick ourselves up.”