GREAT Harwood boss Dave Bradford is confident his young charges can turn their NWCL Division One season around.
Harwood have won just one of their eight league matches so far this season and have now lost three on the bounce.
But anyone who was at Monday's local derby against Colne at the Showground will know how unlucky his side were.
The result will say Colne won 4-1 but it doesn't give the full story of the night.
Striker Paul Mashiter ran the Colne defence ragged and scored one goal just before half-time and set up young midfielder Lewis Hamlin but his effort skimmed the crossbar.
Mashiter, on the hunt for his sixth goal of the season, had another solo effort disallowed for off-side - although the striker felt it was harsh - as Harwood were in control.
But then Colne were awarded a penalty just after the break which former Everton trainee Carl Howarth - who had been kept relatively quiet - converted.
Harwood were still a threat with both Bobby Harris and Ross Baxter, in the Colne goal, pulling off some stunning saves.
But then in four minutes, Harwood suddenly fell apart, especially when they lost experienced striker John Eastham to a hamstring injury.
Chris Ingham got a goal out of nothing after NWCL Division Two champions Colne were given a free kick on 74 minutes.
And, after another ball into the box wasn't cleared on 78 minutes, Howarth fired home from close range.
Then Steve Cunningham added a fourth three minutes from time after a defensive mistake let him in and the ball rolled into the net past despairing Harris to give the scoreline a flattering look for Colne.
"I am just so frustrated," said boss Bradford. "We were in charge, we were playing the better football and it would have been a huge boost to win.
"But then, as has happened a lot this season, they scored a goal and we seemed to get scared, lost our shape and are suddenly not doing what we had been.
"All the confidence at the back disappeared and we do perhaps need an older, experienced head in defence who can make the lads believe in themselves even when we concede a goal and be a calming influence."
Bradford is hoping to bolster his squad although already has John-Paul Fagan on loan from Clitheroe and midfielder Hamlin is making his mark.
It was such a disappointing result after their 3-2 victory in the FA Vase first qualifying round over New Mills, from Division Two, on Saturday.
Eastham had scored two goals - the second a good one after he turned his marker and fired home from 25 yards.
Mashiter put the game beyond doubt but Harwood then allowed New Mills back into it with two late goals.
"They could have got an equaliser as well. We just seem to crumble once a side get back into the game," said the boss.
Harwood do have a chance to bounce back at home to Atherton LR tomorrow in a re-arranged league game as both sides are out of the FA Cup.
Then they make the short trip to Ramsbottom on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).