Formartine United skipper Stuart Anderson insists the club have to look forward and not dwell on their inconsistent start to the season.
The Pitmedden side were beaten 2-1 by Inverurie Locos on Wednesday night, adding to their defeats against title challengers Fraserburgh and Buckie Thistle in August.
Although they have two games in hand on league leaders Brora Rangers – four on Locos in third – they are 11 points behind the Highland League’s top three in eighth.
They take their quest for form to Strathspey Thistle tomorrow, before meeting Locos again in the Highland League Cup next weekend.
Anderson said: “Other teams have been better than us, simple as that. The table doesn’t lie.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and see if we can get some confidence back. Wins get a bit of momentum and confidence goes higher from there. We can only look to the next game.
“It’s hard to put your finger on it. We didn’t get near Cove the last couple of seasons but we’ve been top four since I’ve been here. At the moment, we’re just not reaching it.
“We’ve got a big month ahead, with a league game and three cup games.”
United defender Craig McKeown will be assessed ahead of the game, after pulling up late on in the defeat at North Lodge Park in midweek.
Jonny Smith scored twice in the first half and although Scott Lisle gave them a lifeline in the second half, Paul Lawson’s side were unable to drag themselves level.
Anderson, pictured, added: “Goals change games and they got two soft goals from our point of view.
“They can sit in and they’ve got centre-halves who are ideal for that. They cruised it. They stuck to their gameplan and deserved the three points.
“We’re chasing points – we’ve dropped too many already this season.
“But unfortunately we couldn’t get anything out of the game.”
Locos are at home to lowly Clach – beaten 2-1 by Brora in midweek – chasing their third win under new manager Andy Low.
Since replacing Neil Cooper last month, Low has led them to victories over Fraserburgh and Formartine to take them to third in the table. The only blemish on his record has been the 1-0 defeat to Wick Academy last weekend.
They too have a big week ahead, with Aberdeen in store in the Aberdeenshire Shield on Wednesday, before they return to Pitmedden.
Low has been pleased with the reaction from the Locos squad since taking the reins.
He said: “The players are a great group to work with and respond to anything you ask them to do.”