Andy Hunter wants Inverurie Locos to build a stronger mentality between now and the end of the season.
The Railwaymen tackle Deveronvale at Harlaw Park tomorrow in the first of nine remaining Highland League games.
Last weekend’s 4-0 loss to Brora Rangers appears to have ended any hopes of winning the title.
But striker Hunter insists it’s important Inverurie finish the season in the right manner.
He said: “It’s a mentality thing for us – we need to build that winning mentality and build it up for next season.
“You don’t want to get to the point where you reach the last month of the season and you’re turning up and going through the motions.
“You need to show the right attitude and finish the season strongly and try to make progress for next season.
“Since the turn of the year it’s been quite disappointing for us with some the results we’ve had.
“We need to try to get back to winning ways. We thought we’d picked up against Rothes (5-0 win).
“But then we had a disappointing defeat to Brora so we need to show what we can do and bounce back, although it won’t be easy against a confident Deveronvale side.
“The season is not done and we need to be up there challenging to finish second.
“But the pressure of trying to go on to win the league has dwindled now so we need to show what we’re capable of and enjoy the games. And the best way to do that is by winning.”
As well as defeat to Brora last Saturday Locos lost 3-1 to Fraserburgh in the Aberdeenshire Shield final and Hunter reckons the Garioch men need to reach the same levels as those sides to win trophies.
He added: “I think we have improved under Andy Low and shown good signs, but the last month has been a reminder of what we need to work at as a team.
“We’re at our best when everyone is 100% going at it and when we shy away from that we can be a little bit vulnerable.
“The last month has been a reminder of that because we’ve played the two teams in Brora and Fraserburgh who are ahead of us and we’ve been beaten.
“So it’s been a reminder of where you need to be against them. To have success we need to get past their level, which I think we are capable of, but we’ve shown weakness.”
Elsewhere, Huntly travel to play Wick Academy at Harmsworth Park, Keith host Rothes at Kynoch Park, Buckie Thistle meet Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park and Strathspey Thistle tackle Brora.