FC CLACTON manager Kieron Shelley insists there has been no negativity in the camp during the club’s recent poor run.

The Seasiders have dipped to 18th in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division after losing seven of their last nine fixtures, failing to score in their last couple against Gorleston and Wroxham.

However, Shelley is confident his team can get back to winning ways and believes they are capable of pocketing three points from Saturday’s trip to Kirkley and Pakefield.

They were left without a game last weekend after the postponement of their home match against Coggeshall Town.

“We feel we’ve done enough to be safe (from relegation) but obviously it’s not mathematical yet,” said the Clacton boss.

“It’s a shame because six weeks ago we were talking about finishing in the top ten.

“However, we didn’t have a goal-scorer and that made it harder to get out of the rut.

“I feel we’ve got the foundations and basics right, though, and we’ve got a group of players who are giving their all.

“It’s a learning process and people forget where we’ve come from and where we were last season.

“The boys have rolled their sleeves up and got better and stronger. They’re hungry and have a point to prove.

“There certainly hasn’t been any negativity in the camp - or any reflecting on what could and should have been - and now we want to finish the season strongly and steer clear of the relegation zone.”

The Coggeshall match has been rearranged for Tuesday, March 13.

It means Clacton’s last competitive fixture was their 2-0 defeat at Wroxham on January 13.

They also played a friendly at Bostik League side Aveley – managed by former Brightlingsea Regent boss James Webster – last Wednesday and drew 1-1.

Jake Plane scored their goal with a brilliant free-kick.

“We were pleased with the reaction of the players at Wroxham (after losing at home to Gorleston the previous Saturday),” he said.

“We looked lively and grew into the game, finishing the first half strongly.

“We definitely should have been in front at the break, having had good chances and hit the bar. The ball just wouldn’t go in.

“Wroxham then scored their goals and suddenly it was a long way back. Game over.

“Then we played really well at Aveley.

“Their lovely pitch suited us and we moved the ball around well, especially during a very open second half.

“We came into our own and showed how good we are and how far we’ve come.

“We were looking to produce another positive display against Coggeshall last Saturday.

“Unfortunately our pitch wasn’t fit to play on, though.

“It was a shame but not the end of the world.

“In some ways, it might have been the worst possible time to face Coggeshall.

“They’d lost their previous two and so would have been a bit of a wounded animal.

“Their manager would have wanted a reaction and so they would have had the bit between their teeth.”

Shelley is hoping for another positive display in Saturday’s match at Walmer Road.

“Kirkley can beat anyone on their day,” he said.

“They’re a big, physical side and they’re always there or thereabouts come the end of the season. They’re still beatable, though, and we certainly won’t go there with any fear.”

Clacton’s reserves came from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw against Boxted Lodgers, in division one of the Essex and Suffolk Border League.

Kevin Coyle scored both their goals.

Clacton’s under-18s return to action at Cornard United on Tuesday night, in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League south division (kick-off 7.45pm).