Luke Joyce has no doubt Port Vale are capable of getting back in contention for the play-off places as they try to arrest a run of five league defeats.
The Vale, who are at Bolton on Saturday, are on their worst losing run since John Askey took over as manager in February 2019.
The weekend’s 3-2 defeat at home to Leyton Orient saw them drop to 13th, four points off the top seven having played a game more than most of their rivals who play in midweek.
But the club has largely the same team that finished eighth last season and, having been in the play-off spots before the current run, Joyce says they can get back there.
He said: “We have good players and a good squad. We showed that last season and we have shown it in the early parts of this season. We will bounce back from this, we will keep going and hopefully be stronger for it.”
Joyce, with more than 550 senior games, has plenty of experience of highs and lows but says all players are affected.
He said: “Losing games hurts, whether it is one game or the run we are on at the minute.
“Everyone is in football to win matches and get promoted and win trophies and medals. So, it always hurts, it is frustrating. It spoils your weekend, you go home, and you know what people are going to say.
“But we just have to deal with it.”
Vale took the lead and then came from 2-1 down before losing to a goal four minutes from time at home to Leyton Orient.
Joyce said: “We dominated in the second half. We got in their 18 yard box numerous times, for whatever reason maybe didn’t pull the trigger at the right time, didn’t take the chances, they were putting bodies in the way,
“Then the way it is going at the minute, we get sucker punched in the last five minutes. It is massively disappointing.”
He added: “I have kind of been through times like this before and you just have to keep working hard. You have to try not to change your game too much. I know that might sound daft because we are losing games, but do what you were doing when we started the season.
“It is the same habits. Keep working and get your head down, it might just take a scruffy 1-0 win somewhere just to get us going again.”