WHILE he admits it is tough to keep his players' heads up after a difficult run of results, Braintree Town manager Danny Searle insists he won't shirk away from keeping his team positive as their battle to avoid Vanarama National League relegation goes on.

Following a defeat by Aldershot Town, the Iron have had a 3-0 loss at Dover and a 3-1 defeat by Chesterfield in the last week and head into Saturday's home game against Harrogate Town (kick-off 3pm) and Tuesday's trip to Sutton United knowing their survival hopes are receding.

However, Searle said he won't give up the fight and he won't allow his players to either.

He said: “As a player, when you’re up against what we are and when things go against you, it is going to be hard – from a human nature perspective – not to get down.

“But that is part of being a manager; you have to pick them up.

“The effort put in by the players (at Dover) on Saturday was outstanding and on Tuesday (against Chesterfield), the determination of the players was good again.

“It is about self-motivating but a big part of the staff’s job is keeping them motivated.

“I would not want anyone in my dressing room who wasn’t a winner.

“Whether you are mathematically relegated or mathematically promoted, if you are winner, you want to win everything.

“For me, I want to win training games or a quiz in the clubhouse; I don’t want to lose anything.

“I’m confident the lads in the dressing room, regardless of what our situation is, they will want to win football matches and that’s the way we’ll keep approaching everything.

“It’s also important that as they walked off the pitch on Tuesday, the supporters were behind them.

“That’s not easy because these guys are turning up and paying their money despite the situation that we are in and we’re grateful for that as a team and a club.

“The bottom line is, until someone tells me we can’t stay up then the focus will be on the next game and trying to get three points to give ourselves the best opportunity to make a fight of it.

“We all know what we are up against but what we are asking from the players is for them to give us that extra five or ten per cent.

“We can make excuses about budgets and full-time but once you cross the line it is 11 v 11.

“We have good players who we trust and we haven’t been embarrassed by anyone."