CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier has challenged his players to use the pain of their New Year’s Day drubbing at the hands of Bath City to ensure they suffer no more dark days in National League South over the second half of the season.

The Bluebirds began the new year with their heaviest defeat of the campaign, going down 5-0 to near neighbours Bath at Twerton Park.

Chippenham return to action with a home match against Eastbourne Borough at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday, with Collier demanding a response.

Although Town have dropped into the bottom half of the table in recent weeks and now sit 12th, they are well clear of the threat of relegation as they are 16 points clear of the bottom three.

Collier now wants to use the pain felt in defeat at Bath as a catalyst to kick on back up the standings.

“The players need to remember this feeling because it is not a nice one and we don’t want it to happen again,” said Collier.

“But whether you like it or not, it does happen in football, and it was more than a bad day at the office – it was a shocking performance.

“Curtis McDonald, the captain, stood up after the game and said: ‘This can’t happen again – it has not been good enough’.

“We haven’t helped ourselves one bit as the performance level is not what is expected of Chippenham Town.

“No one is looking for an excuse and no one is hiding from the fact that we have been outplayed. It has hurt us, but we have to go again.”

Collier will not tolerate players feeling down in the dumps in the wake of the heavy defeat, but admits changes now need to be made for this weekend’s home match against Eastbourne.

“The only players who did themselves a favour on Tuesday were the ones that we left out and the ones who didn’t come off the bench,” said Collier.

“No one else is going to feel sorry for us and we have to make sure we come in for training on Thursday and make sure no one is moping around.

“We need to pick the players up, but who picks up the manager and the assistant manager? Who motivates the motivator?

“We will have to motivate ourselves and the players and make sure we are ready to go again at the weekend.

“We will make some changes and freshen things up and look forward to playing Eastbourne.”