BRANTHAM Athletic joint-boss Matt Carmichael is confident his side will come through their “mini-rut”.

The Imps have lost their last three Thurlow Nunn League matches and were eliminated from the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday, going down 3-1 at home to Bury Town.

Their poor premier division form has seen them drop to fifth and it is a sequence they will be desperate to halt in tomorrow’s fixture at Newmarket Town.

Carmichael is convinced his side’s luck will turn and said: “I’m sure we’ll be alright.

“This time last year we were on a similar run but you have to ride it out.

“Sometimes you’ll nick a game when you don’t deserve to and that can start another run.

“We’re too good to keep losing and perhaps need to get our noses in front.

“When we’ve got something to defend, that’s when we’re at our best.

“It’s about sticking together and working hard to get through this mini-rut.

“The players have to step up to the plate.

“I remember losing four in a row not long after taking over last year but we got through it then and we’ll get through it now.

“We have to concentrate on the positives and not dwell on the negatives or the results.

“Things will start falling for us again.

“It’s hard because you start trying to find reasons for things.

“We’ll look at things like selection, tactics and preparation but at this level – step five – it boils down to 11 v 11.

“Everyone has a full-time job and no-one’s training more than two hours a week, especially this time of year when pitches become an issue.”

Brantham found themselves three-down at half-time in Tuesday’s quarter-final against Bury.

Joint-boss Michael Brothers was also red-carded for an alleged foul that led to the visitors’ first goal, from the penalty spot.

Ed Nobbs’ second-half penalty threw them a lifeline but it was not to be.

“Bury are in the play-off mix in the division above so they were always going to cause us problems,” added Carmichael.

“But even when we were down to ten men, I don’t think they really pulled us apart and hurt us.

“The second goal followed an individual mistake and the third one was soft, too, because the ball should have been cleared.

“All the damage was done in the first half and a top team would have pulled us apart and scored six or seven, but they didn’t and we have to take heart from that.”

“At least we learned from it because the team talk at half-time was to go out and win the second half, or at least not lose it.

“We did that. We won it 1-0.

“That speaks volumes about the mentality we’ve got or are capable of having.

“In the first half it wasn’t there but this shows the players have got a little bit about them.

“If things don’t go our way early on we seem to get a bit worried about losing.

“We’re more worried about losing than trying to win – playing a bit deep and not pressing as high as we would normally - and other teams smell that fear. They’ll attack you.”

Brantham, who lost 3-2 at home to Histon on Saturday, have completed the signing of Little Oakley’s Jake Kioussis.

The full-back made his debut against Bury.

“Jake’s a player I’ve rated for three or four years now,” added Carmichael.

“Technically he’s fantastic.

“If he can get fit, he and Ed will be a fantastic partnership down the left-hand side because they’re both predominately left-footed and they’re both good on the ball.”