Belper Town boss Aaron Webster says he wants to get the smiles on his players’ faces.
The Nailers picked up their first Evo-Stik League South Division home win of Webster’s reign on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Corby Town.
Webster said a half-time team-talk mainly consisted of reassuring the players of their roles and ability saw a vast improvement after the break.
And he believes his Belper players will only realise their full potential when they start to enjoy putting the hard yards in in training and matches.
“There’s not been many smiles when you’re losing home games and getting beaten by big margins,” he said. “I think we’ve got over that now.
“I always say to the players you’ve got to come in and work hard with a smile on your face because you’re not going to give it your best if you’re not happy.
“I’ve let the lads know how I feel on that and I do want a smile on their faces. I think it’s a big part in getting that togetherness and team morale.
“I don’t think sulking gets you anywhere. People who are not enjoying their football don’t help the team progress to where we all want to be.
“I’m all about positivity and smiles on faces while we do the hard graft.”
Following a goalless first half, ex-pro Lee Williamson bagged the only goal of the game in the 74th-minute to seal three points at the Marstons Stadium.
“It was nice to get that league win at home,” said Webster. “We’d been struggling at home the few games before and you could see that in our first half performance as well.
“It was nice to turn that around in the second half and get the win. We didn’t get started and that’s been one of the problems since I’ve been in the role.
“What we are getting better at is actually staying in the game and we look a little bit more resolute, we look a little bit more together and harder to beat.
“Half time wass a good chance for me to have a chat with everyone. The half time talk was more about reassurance - we weren’t playing the ball from the back.
“We spoke about the conditions before the match and it not being the perfect pitch to play on, we didn’t want any mistakes, but the boys took it too literally and went safe.
“Our defenders were playing one touch and clearing their lines. Defensively it looked good but for us to try and create something it wasn’t helping our attacking play.”
And added: “I wanted them to believe in themselves. That’s a big thing for us; belief and confidence. It’s coming with the results that we’re getting.
“I like to be honest with the players and there might be times when there’s words needed and other times when praise is due. I will give them both.
“If you’ve got your manager telling you ‘you can play’ and that he has belief in you, going from my experience, that’s what I wanted to hear before games.
“No-one wants to go out on the football pitch or into the office with a boss who is telling you ‘you aren’t good’, so to get that reassurance can make a difference - and has.”
Club statistics show it was Williamson’s third goal in two games but Webster sees it differently for his old mate.
“He can’t claim the free kick at Alvechurch - it took two deflections, so he can have two in two,” joked Webster.
“To have him by my side is great. We’ve been mates for nearly 30 years now, both from Derby and we’re close. On the pitch, it’s even better for Belper Town.
“For a local Derby lad to have the career he’s had is great. He’s been a Jamaican international and played in the Championship so it must raise spirits around the group.
“If that can’t get the best out of people then I don’t know what can.”
Belper travel to bottom of the table Peterborough Sports on Saturday looking to extend their recent run of form and climb the table.
“If you string a little run together then you never know what might happen,” said Webster.
“I’m not saying we’re going to catch Basford or reach the play-offs but we want to finish as high as possible.
“We’re not shouting off the rooftops because we’ve won two in a row, we’ll continue to go about our business with a smile on our faces.
“We want to get them to enjoy working hard and if we can do that consistently then I’m sure we’ll climb the table.”