Ex-Chester City captain Paul Carden wants his Southport team to start defending better ahead of tonight's game with Chester FC (7.45pm).
The Sandgrounders are third bottom in the Vanarama National League having registered just two victories from their opening 15 games.
Carden, who skippered the Blues to the Conference title in 2003-04, was unhappy with his side's showing in a 1-0 home defeat to Torquay United at the weekend.
In a crucial fixture between two clubs struggling for points, the Gulls got the decisive goal inside 60 minutes when an unmarked Alex Fisher headed in a corner from Dan Butler.
"We were poor today and I think we only had one real shot," said Carden afterwards.
"We’ve been done by a set-piece and that’s been a constant problem for us. Players running off people, not doing their jobs and it has cost us.
"We’ve given a team who, like ourselves, are fighting at the bottom of the table, something to hold onto.
"We’re the lowest goalscorers in the league, which shows that we can’t afford to give away cheap goals and that’s killed us today.
"We didn’t pass well, we didn’t close down and we didn’t test their goalkeeper at all. I think they were the poorest team we’ve played this season and they’ll probably say the same about us based on today’s showing.
"Last week, we wanted it more than Woking – and this week Torquay wanted it more than us."
Last season the Blues beat the Sandgrounders 2-0 at home in September with goals from Kieran Charnock and Craig Hobson.
Both sides finished with 10 men in the return fixture in January with Kingsley James and Richard Brodie seeing red in a goalless draw.
Carden made 155 appearances during two spells with Chester where his whole-hearted performances in midfield made him a fans' favourite.
He was appointed Southport manager in January when he stepped up from assistant to Gary Brabin, who accepted a coaching position at Everton. Brabin returned to management with Tranmere Rovers at the start of the current season.
Carden was rewarded with a new deal at the end of last season after the club finished six points above the relegation places.
He is hoping the quick turnaround works to the benefit of his team against his former club
"The game against Chester comes around fast and it gives us an opportunity to bounce back," said Carden.
"A few weeks ago, on the back of losing heavily against Grimsby, we went to Woking where we put in an excellent performance and got a tremendous win. Now we’ve got the chance to do the same again.
"One thing we haven’t really done so far this season is to give the fans at home something to shout about. We’ve had spells in games but we know we need to do better.
"People have said to me that we should have more points and I possibly agree with that. But the facts are that we haven’t got those points and it’s lapses in concentration like on Saturday which is the reason.
"It’s something we need to quickly address before the gap between the bottom four and the rest of the league increases."