Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has urged his players to embrace the current challenge facing them.
The Shrimps are in the middle of a poor run of results which has seen them collect just five points from a possible 30.
That poor form has seen them plummet down the League Two table and culminated in a depressing 5-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
After last weekend’s loss – which left them seven points clear of the drop zone – Bentley said his team were in a relegation battle.
However, he has urged his men not to press the panic button with tomorrow’s match against promotion hopefuls Southend United at the Globe Arena on the horizon.
“I said after last weekend’s result that we are in a relegation battle and we are,” Bentley said.
“I would rather look up than down but I am realistic and honest – the league table does not lie.
“But there’s no use panicking about it, you have got to keep calm.
“We still have some breathing space – the time to panic is when you’re six points behind with only two games left.
“We just have to embrace the challenge facing us and give it our all. We are capable of beating anyone comfortably on our day.
“We are one of the smallest clubs in the division – there are bigger clubs with bigger budgets.
“But we know that we can upset anyone – we have proven that this year and hopefully we will continue to do that until the end of the season.”
Tomorrow’s match against the Shrimpers is a good opportunity for Morecambe to pick up their first victory since the 1-0 Boxing Day win over Fleetwood Town.
While Phil Brown’s men hold the last remaining play-off place, they have not won in their previous eight matches. And Southend have never beaten Morecambe in a league game, although they did knock them out of the FA Cup earlier in the season.
“We have got a good record against Southend,” Bentley said.
“I don’t think they have beaten us since we became a league team.
“They beat us earlier in the season in the FA Cup but I remember that was the day when we there was a big crash on the M6 and a lot of my players didn’t get to the ground until 2.15pm.
“It was a rush job and the players started the first 10 or 15 minutes like they were still on the motorway.
“They are on a terrible run themselves – similar to ourselves, so it’s a game we are looking forward to.
“After last Saturday’s episode, I wished that we had a Tuesday game to get over it.
“But we are looking for a response – we don’t want to mention the Plymouth result again.
“We’ve had a positive few days and everybody is ready and raring to go. Hopefully we will get back on the winning trail.”
There could be a few changes in the team tomorrow as Bentley searches for the winning formula against Southend United at the Globe Arena.
“There will probably be a few changes,” Bentley said.
“I’ve pointed a finger at one of two this week and there are lads champing at the bit waiting to get back in the team.”
Some changes may be enforced as Bentley as injury worries over young striker Jack Redshaw and defender Andy Parrish.
“Jack’s got a little niggle with his hip,” Bentley said. “We will see how he is but hopefully he will be okay.
“Andy hasn’t trained all week because of a bad back. It appears to be a bit of a recurring problem.
“We’ve sent him to see a specialist this week but it might be just a case of managing it and making sure he is right.”
On-loan winger Jamie Devitt sits out the final game of a three-match ban he incurred in the 1-1 draw at Exeter City last month.