Hebburn Town boss Scott Oliver hopes his side have turned a corner after their midweek Ernest Armstrong Cup win over Esh Winning.
The 3-0 victory ended an awful run of form that had seen the Hornets go eight games without a win in all competitions, stretching back to October 11.
Oliver believes the mini-break from action has played a part in getting his squad back on the right track, with the Hebburn management holding a number of one-on-one chats with some of the under-performing players.
He said: “It was a huge relief to get back to winning ways on Wednesday night.
“All credit to the lads who worked their socks off and were worthy winners.
“There were signs of a return to form for some key players, who have not performed well of late.
“We have trained well with having no game for 10 days and worked hard on our team ethic and we have had plenty of chats with the players on a one-to-one basis and they reacted well with the win.”
Oliver now hopes his charges can take that positivity into tomorrow’s league game against Thornaby as they look to get their promotion bid back on track.
Hebburn still sit fifth in Northern League Division Two table, but are relishing the trip to Teesside.
Callum Smith, Dave Coulson and Scott Wallace are all out injured, while centre half Stu Bramley misses the game through a family bereavement.
Kris Hughes, Glen Hargrave and goalkeeper Steve Hubery come into contention after missing the win at Esh during the week.
Oliver added: “We will continue our league campaign with a tough game at Thornaby and look forward to the game.
“It was nice to see a happy dressing room as things have been a bit bleak lately.
“Our new signing Dan Robinson will start the game and he will be raring to go.”