Ben Heap has urged the Lowerhouse dressing room to stick together and respond to the derby day defeat against rivals Burnley.
The West Enders captain conceded that he’s still hurting from the loss but the upcoming weekend offers the chance to alleviate the pain.
After opening their Twenty20 campaign against Darwen at the Brooks Foundation Ground on Friday evening, ‘House travel to Lanehead to tackle Bacup on Saturday before hosting Lancashire League leaders Clitheroe at Liverpool Road on Sunday.
“It’s still a long season so we need to keep on looking forward,” said Heap. “The test of the dressing room and the test for me as captain is now, when we’ve had a defeat or two. It hurts now, I’m hurting more than anybody.
“We just need to stick together because nobody goes through an entire season undefeated, especially when there are so many different competitions to go at.
“There’s no better way to respond than getting three wins this weekend and we’re capable of doing that.
“It’s cricket, it always goes round in circles. We’ve got to stay level-headed, in the middle, never getting too high or too low.”
While some may have been surprised by the manner that Clitheroe have adapted to this level, Heap suggested that it hasn’t come as any shock to him at all.
The 29-year-old, who spent a season as professional with Padiham in the Ribblesdale Cricket League, said: “Every game is important and we’ve got to treat every one the same.
“But in terms of big crowds and excitement everybody is looking forward to the Clitheroe game.
“They’re top of the league and it’s a new team for us to play. It should be a good one.
“I’ve got a lot of friends who play in the Ribblesdale League. My granddad started out at Whalley too. I had my year as a professional in that league so I know all about it.
“Clitheroe are strong in every department, everyone in that team knows their role and knows exactly what they’re doing. They are difficult to beat and they haven’t experienced it too often over the last few years.
“Winning becomes a habit regardless of what level you’re at. Winning breeds confidence so it wasn’t much of a surprise at all to see them doing so well. All they’ve known over the last few years is winning.”