We're going to have to win every game now says Hockaday
FOREST Green manager Dave Hockaday is refusing write off his side's play-off chances – but admits they can afford no more dropped points.
Rovers were edged out 2-1 by in-form Mansfield Town at the New Lawn, the Stags' ninth straight Blue Square Bet Premier victory sending them to the summit.
With just seven fixtures remaining Hockaday's men are three points adrift of the top five, having played more matches than every team above them.
But their run-in includes no further clashes with promotion hopefuls, and a two-week break from league action could yet prove the catalyst for a flying finish.
Hockaday: "We're going to have to win every game now, so we'll look to win the next one (at Ebbsfleet United).
"The next two weeks will allow us to get a lot of players back fit and that will give us more options.
"But I have to say that every time I've picked a team, even with people playing out of position, we've done brilliantly. You can't knock the lads, who have given everything and more, but it only counts when you put the ball in the back of the net and at the moment that's what we're struggling with.
"I think everybody knows what we're building here and it isn't over, so we'll see what the next game brings."
Rovers have won just one of their last seven matches after Friday's reverse, which saw Mansfield gifted a 2-0 lead via Eddie Oshodi's own goal and Lee Stevenson capitalising on surrendered possession in midfield.
James Norwood's 87th-minute strike rewarded a rousing finish by the hosts, and Hockaday felt luck was firmly on the opposition's side.
"The first goal was cruel because the shot was going well wide and it got deflected, and then at the start of the second half we just gave them another one," said Hockaday.
"But that's what winning teams do – punish every mistake – and we've got to learn from that.
"We piled forward and really should have at least drawn the game.
"We rattled the crossbar and put a lot of balls in.
"It just about summed up our last six games, when we've played really well and dominated in lots of areas but not managed to put the ball in the net.
"And when we've made mistakes the top teams have punished us.
"We have to take our hats off to them for nailing the key moments."