STUART Heath has underlined the need for everyone at the Magpies to do all they can to support the youngsters trying to save the club from relegation this season.
The Dorchester Town assistant-manager is aware how tough some of the more inexperienced players are finding the step up to Conference South football.
But he is still pleased with the way they have taken their opportunity in the first team and reckons the side can use what happened last term to inspire them to safety this time around.
The Magpies were also facing a fight for survival 12 months ago but they managed to haul themselves clear of danger before going on to finish with a club record points haul.
The county town outfit take on Hayes & Yeading at the Avenue tonight (7.45pm), giving them the perfect opportunity to bounce back after Saturday’s drubbing by Dover.
“Straight after the game we made it clear to the players that we’ve got to dust ourselves down very quickly and come out fighting against Hayes,” said Heath.
“At one stage last season we were second from bottom, but with character, togetherness and ability we got into the position we did.
“We’ve got to use that as motivation this season.
“We’ve just got to release the shackles a bit and go out and play. At times in the last two games we’ve looked too timid and tense.
“The young boys have got to give us really high energy levels and we want them to go out there and enjoy it and show what they can do.
“Players like Dan Munday have done that in recent weeks and we’re looking for everyone to do that.”
Speaking about the importance of the younger players, he added: “We’ve handed them an opportunity and we are delighted with what they are doing so far.
“We’ve got to stick by them, show faith in them and encourage them.
“The supporters kept right behind those young boys on Saturday and they can see they are honest and hard working.
“They have been jettisoned into the first team and are playing at a good standard very early so we’ve got to stick by these boys and encourage them.
“We’ll keep encouraging them and working with them and I’m sure the home fans will keep getting behind them.”
Heath feels a bit of mental and physical toughness has been lacking in the Dorchester ranks recently, but with 20 fixtures still left this season there remains a lot to play for.
“The bottom line is we have 20 games to go and anybody thinking of throwing in the towel or accepting relegation should not be at the club,” stated Heath. “There are still 60 points to play for.
“We proved before Christmas we have got players who are capable of very good performances on any given day.
“We proved that at Maidenhead and at home to Tonbridge, and anybody who goes to Sutton and wins must have something about them.”
Magpies: (from) Walker-Harris, Brooks, Colmer, Jermyn, Smeeton, Lanahan, Crittenden, Gleeson, Munday, Byerley, Losasso, Twyford, Way, Case, Ward, Tennant