BRAINTREE Town manager Glen Driver is happy to have “an open conversation” with his players this week as they digest and look to bounce back from a disappointing day on the road.

The Iron’s impressive run of Vanarama National League South form came to an abrupt halt last weekend as they were beaten 5-1 at struggling Tonbridge Angels.

Fifth-placed Braintree had won five and drawn one of their previous six league outings while the Angels were struggling in the bottom two and few would have predicted the result on a rainy day in Kent.

But while recent results had been positive, Driver said performances hadn’t been at the levels he wanted for a couple of weeks and, after a bright start at Tonbridge, his team were well off the pace of what he expected from them.

“It’s a result that had been coming for the last few games to be honest,” said the Iron boss.

“The (FA Cup) game at Enfield was nowhere near good enough, the Oxford City game was the same even though we ended up winning that one and Tilbury (in the Essex Senior Cup) was similar.

“We won that one as well but they could have nicked it and sent it to penalties and now we’ve lost this one 5-1.

“So we have to have a good meeting with the players; sit down with them properly and say what our thoughts are.

“It's an open conversation and we’ll ask them why they feel that happened on Saturday.

“We have to throw it to the players and see what they feel.

“As staff, you ask yourself questions all the time, whether you are getting it right or not and we need to know what the players are thinking as well.”

Driver admitted that it had been tough to put his finger on what went wrong at Tonbridge and hadn’t been working in recent games.

Braintree have seen a few squad changes over the last few weeks, but Driver said the players and system were largely the same as they ones that had earned an impressive 3-1 win at Havant & Waterlooville last month.

He added: “Our system hasn’t changed from the Havant & Waterlooville game so we’ve played the same formation.

“We’ve had one or two changes in personnel, but we are still essentially the same side.

“There’s pretty much 80 per cent of the side that has been here so it hasn’t changed that much.

“So you struggle to put your finger on why that happened.

“We are all still training together and singing off the same hymn sheet, so we have to turn up at these games.”

Braintree now have two weeks to rectify what went wrong at Tonbridge Angels as – thanks to Maidstone United being in FA Cup action this weekend – they don’t have a game now until a trip to Weymouth on October 26.

Driver said: “If you have won then sometimes a break can be good to refresh you, but when you have lost, the one thing that you want more than anything is the chance to put it right and go again.

“One defeat from the last seven in the league is a pretty good run, but the manner of this defeat wasn’t right.

“I want to apologise to supporters who travelled and as a group, we know we need to put it right.

“We will do that and we will be working very hard on the training field now.”

The league game against Maidstone will now take place at Cressing Road on Tuesday, October 29.