Darren Kelly praised his players’ efforts after FC Halifax Town fell to the foot of the table with a 2-1 defeat at Eastleigh.
Town outplayed their hosts in the first-half and led through Kingsley James’ fourth goal in eight games.
Andy Drury and Josh Payne scored after the interval to consign Halifax to the bottom of the National League, but Kelly was impressed by his team’s battling display despite the result.
“I thought our players were tremendous. To play 120 minutes on Tuesday night, give it their all, come down down here and give it their all - there’s nothing more you can ask for.
“They worked hard for each other, it’s just a disappointing result and I don’t think we deserved that.
“We went in ahead at half-time and it was a couple of poor goals that we conceded.
“But in terms of effort and commitment from the players, I thought they were first class.”
Kelly is delighted with James’ recent goal-scoring form and feels the midfielder has benefited from being shifted to a more attacking role.
“He’s been excellent,” Kelly enthused. “He’s a good player and likes to get himself in good areas.
“In the position he plays he can do that and it’s paid dividends with him scoring four goals and he could have had more today.
“But he’s been tremendous for the team.”
Kelly believes his side have improved over the last couple of games, and remains convinced they will haul themselves up the table.
“We knew it was never going to be a quick fix,” he said. “It’s probably going to be worse before it gets better but on today’s effort and on Tuesday, I think the supporters are starting to see what we’re about.
“We’re by no means the finished article but the one thing that’s for sure is that at the end of the season, we’ll not be where we are.”
The Town boss believes the experienced players in the Town squad will be crucial in their battle to climb the table, and reiterated that there’s a lot of work ahead for the team.
“You look at the experience we have in the team and there’s a lot of games in terms of their appearance records.
“The good thing about it is that with the experienced players, with us being down there at the bottom, they’ll have experienced that, they know what it’s about and what’s needed.
“It’s just a matter of rolling your sleeves up and getting on with it, working hard for each other and using your experience.
“That will help encourage the younger players.
“When we came in we knew it would be a fight because you want to get your own players in and you want the team to click into place.
“It’s not going to happen overnight so there’s a lot of work to be done.”