MARK Collier is determined to prevent a negative mindset from bedding in at Chippenham Town after the Bluebirds slipped into the bottom half of the National League South table.

Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Essex side Concord Rangers continued the Bluebirds’ winless November in the league as well as being a seventh defeat in 10 league matches on the road this season.

To add to their concerns, their post-match changing room resembled a casualty ward, with skipper Greg Tindle suffering a recurrence of ankle ligament trouble, on-loan frontman Scott Twine picking up a hamstring injury and fellow striker Dave Pratt and midfielder Alex Ferguson also nursing problems.

With only one defeat at Hardenhuish Park this season since their promotion as Southern League Premier champions, Chippenham have clearly proven they can punch their weight at the higher level, but Collier is adamant over remaining positive as his squad battles various misfortunes.

“As I’ve said to people, I’m under absolutely no illusion how very difficult this league is. The reality is that we’re small fry in a big pond really,’’ said Collier, who also saw midfielder Dean Evans sent off at the weekend.

“We have to work hard every week to make sure we fight and scrap for every single point and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

“We’re reminded every single week how tough the league is, on the pitch and off it, with the infrastructure and finance of some of the clubs.

“Afterwards (the Concord match) there was a bit of doom and gloom around of course. But we wanted to be in that division and fought our lives to get there and we’ll continue to do that. There is no doom and gloom on mine or the players’ part.”

Town have at least had the week to rest battered bodies ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy third qualifying round trip to Brighton side Whitehawk.

Collier added: “Twine has come off with a hamstring problem. David Pratt can hardly move with his back and Alex Ferguson has picked up a knock so we were almost down to eight fit players (on Saturday).

“(With Tindle) we managed to get him straight off. He’s aware of the injury and what it’s all about.

“Scott Twine looks as though he’s done his hamstring so he could be a month I’d imagine. He’s been great for us.

“We’re okay numbers-wise but you want your best players on the pitch and Tindle and Twine have been two of the best players in the last month or so.

“Tindle will get himself fit and if he’s not fit he sometimes gets himself out there anyway.’’

He added: “That (the Whitehawk tie) is a big game for us. We know we can fight our corner. We’ve gone toe to toe with every team we’ve played in this division so there is no fear from us.’’