MANAGER Mark Collier wants everyone at Chippenham Town to ‘grasp the nettle’ and move the club forward following their FA Cup first round exit to Northampton Town.

After reaching the first round proper for only the third time in the club’s history, the Bluebirds were soundly beaten 3-0 by their League Two counterparts, but Collier felt his side matched Northampton at times and has called on the club to help make fixtures like Sunday’s a more regular occurrence.

A capacity crowd of 2,800 packed into Hardenhuish Park too as the BBC Sport cameras recorded match highlights for the evening’s Match of the Day programme.

The path back to reality starts with a home fixture against Slough Town on Saturday – the side Chippenham knocked out in the third round of FA Cup qualifying – and Collier wants his players to carry the momentum from their day in the spotlight into National League South.

He said: “There are a lot of positives from me on the playing side.

“Playing-wise, we have to take confidence from it because we showed for long periods that we could go toe to toe.

“However, I’ll have to speak to the chairman about strengthening the squad because we’ve got some loan players who will get called back at some point, and we’ve got some players who are out injured that will come back.

“I want everyone to grasp the nettle now and just say: ‘can we move this club forward a little bit more?’

“We’ve done that year on year, and we’ve now got another opportunity to do so now – hopefully we can do that.”

The Bluebirds’ disappointing defeat on Sunday ended not only hopes of more much-needed prize money, but also an 11-game unbeaten run that saw Chippenham lay a solid foundation for their first serious crack at the play-offs.

Collier’s men are seven points below the dotted line, though they will have to start turning draws into wins if Hardenhuish Park is to host a play-off tie, as is the manager’s target.

Collier said: “We were 11 games unbeaten, so we need to start another run on Saturday.

“As I said to the players after the (Northampton) game, we’ve got 30-odd league games to go and we need to take that performance into those league games.

“The play-offs is our objective, we’ve got an FA Trophy tournament to go into now as well.

“We’ve got a good squad of players, so we must take the positives from this and move forward.

“We need to pick ourselves up, not feel too sorry for ourselves.

“We were never going to win the FA Cup, but can we get in the play-offs? Yes we can. Can we have a good run in the FA Trophy? Yes we can.

“That will have to be our next objective.”