MICHAEL COLLINS believes Town are determined to get straight back on track against Oldham at Boundary Park tomorrow (3.00).
The 19-year-old midfielder feels the squad have recovered from the 4-1 home drubbing by Scunthorpe and are now primed to aim for the top tomorrow.
He accepts it won't be easy against Ronnie Moore's much-changed Oldham line-up, even though they haven't won in four outings, but Collins detects a steely edge in Town's preparations which he's convinced will pay off in front of a large travelling contingent of fans.
"The main thing is to realise that we haven't become bad players and a bad team overnight," said Collins, who has started the last four League and Cup matches for the injured Mark Hudson.
"Everyone was disappointed about last Friday's result against Scunthorpe, but we were good players and top of the League before that game and we are still good players now.
"We have all talked about it and what we were doing before Friday was successful, so we don't see the need for any drastic changes.
"Obviously we need to execute again what we've been doing well all season and, if we do that, then I'm sure it will all come right again.
"Oldham is a big test for us, but we are all determined and, if we can get the points out of it the confidence will be sky high once again.
"These next four matches offer a massive 12 points in terms of the season. If we can come through that run with a good set of results behind us then it will stand us in good stead, we can build for the winter and then, hopefully, carry the form through into New Year."
Collins, who made eight appearances last season while earning honours in the Republic of Ireland youth set-up, is revelling in competition for places at the Galpharm.
"I'm delighted to be in the side and I want to stay there," said Collins, who is stronger and bigger than he was a year ago.
"When you're not playing it can be very frustrating, so I'm very happy to be getting a game even though I know there's a long way to go and the competition is getting even stronger.
"Huddy has just made a successful return to action in the Reserves, so that's keeping me on my toes, and everyone knows they've got to keep on putting in the performances.
"If I've slacked in any way recently then I've been going home distraught, to be quite honest, because I know someone could come in and take my place, it's as simple as that.
"We all have to realise there are selection options. If the gaffer decides to make changes for tomorrow because of last Friday then we all have to accept that, because the performance was below par."
Oldham - Day, Forbes, Bonner, Owen, Scott, Tierney, Wellens, Edwards, Killen, Liddell, Warne, Butcher, Eyres, Porter, Hughes, Smith.
Town - Rachubka, Holdsworth, Adams, N Clarke, T Clarke, Brandon, Worthington, Collins, Schofield, Abbott, Taylor-Fletcher, McCombe, Carss, Mendes, McAliskey, Senior.
Referee - Chris Foy (Merseyside).