Kalern Thomas believes Boston United will take their 2-0 defeat to Stockport County on the chin.
Danny Lloyd’s double secured the Hatters’ first-ever win at the Jakemans Stadium, which was also Adam Murray’s first defeat as Boston United manager.
But defender Thomas refused to be downbeat despite the performance, the least intense since the new manager’s arrival, arguing that there remains a new-found strength within the squad.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but the confidence as a squad is loads better,” the right back said.
“When we would lose before it felt much worse, like we were taking steps back.
“Whereas this, we’ll take this loss on the chin, go again in training and look forward to Saturday again.”
After a season in and out of the starting XI due to selection and injury, Thomas is one of just three players to have played every minute of Murray’s five games in charge, keeper Ross Durrant and left back Ben Gordon the other two.
And he believes the faith the manager has shown in him will only make him stronger.
“It’s a great feeling for him to put his trust in me,” Thomas added.
“I want to keep proving to him I can be the right person there.
“There’s definitely a mindset. Nothing’s ever certain, but when you feel like you’re playing well, doing well in training and the manager puts his trust in you then you feel you should be in there.
“It’s all about confidence. If you go to a game thinking you’ll be playing then it breeds more confidence in you.
“The more confidence we all have out there, the better we’ll be playing.
“I think that goes through all of us, not just me.”
Lloyd handed the Hatters a 35th-minute lead with a powerful strike which beat Durrant at his near post.
And he doubled that advantage three minutes into stoppage time with a sucker punch as the hosts - down to 10 men after Josh Robinson’s late second yellow for two bouts of dissent - pushed numbers forward.
Former Pilgrim Kaine Felix burst clear before unselfishly finding Lloyd, who had the simple task of passing into the open net.
“For me the referee was horrendous and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Murray said afterwards of official Robert Massey-Ellis, who didn’t have a particularly endearing 90 minutes.
However, the Pilgrims boss knows the defeat didn’t lie at the door of the man in black.
“Today, for some reason, we were risking passes and doing things on the surface you can’t do,” he added.
For Boston it was a case of failing to turn pressure into chances.
With target man Gregg Smith watching from the Town End, his fractured ankle in pot, United were always going to be weaker in attack.
After a fruitless first half, centre back Nat Brown was brought on from the bench and utilised as a target man.
And despite him causing panic around the away penalty area, there was nobody really gambling on those second balls.
Jay Rollins’ weak effort and Joe Fitzpatrick’s strike which fizzed wide of Ben Hinchliffe’s goal was about as close at it got for Boston while County, in a game of few chances, saw Durrant deny Scott Duxbury from a tight angle and acrobatically volley Lloyd’s inswinging corner away from danger.