Altrincham manager Lee Sinnott reckons there is more to come from his team heading into Saturday's FA Cup fourth qualifying round clash with Chester FC.
The Robins are without in four and two places above the bottom four with 19 points from their 18 matches but Sinnott watched his side draw 2-2 at Gateshead last weekend, coming from behind to lead thorough George Bowerman and Michael Rankine before conceding a stoppage time equaliser, and the ex-Port Vale boss has taken heart from that performance.
He said: "The first-half could easily have ended 2-2, when you consider the opportunities that fell to Damian Reeves and Josh O'Keefe and the couple of headers Gateshead could have done better with, and then we went a goal behind early in the second half. When that happens, you look for a reaction, and I thought our reaction was great.
"To be fair, Gateshead scored their first goal when we were having a decent spell, and, overall, if the players keep performing like that, they will pick up points.
"Last season, at this stage, we had 18 points, whereas we stand here now on 19, so when you consider the disruptive start we've had, that's fair enough. It's okay, but there is more to come from these players."
Altrincham hold home wins over three of the current top five this season after beating Grimsby Town, Tranmere Rovers and Cheltenham Town so cannot be underestimated.
And the Robins won both meetings with the Blues last season, Tom Marshall and Gianluca Havern giving them a 2-0 success at Chester on Boxing Day before a convincing 4-1 victory on New Year's Day with braces from Nicky Clee and Reeves.
Sinnott has concerns over Andy Parry, Ryan Crowther, Shaun Densmore and Rankine, but welcomed back Clee at Gateshead and was pleased with the contribution of the recalled Josh O'Keefe, who had a short loan spell at Chester last season.
Sinnott said: "Josh has taken his chance after a difficult start to his Altrincham career. He has shown great tenacity. He actually came and had a word with me a couple of weeks ago and said, 'I'm a better player than I have shown so far.'
"I replied 'Okay, Josh, when you get the chance, make sure you show me that.' To be fair to him, he has been true to his word. That is what you want. You don't want players sulking, but you do want them to be disappointed at not playing."