Barrow AFC wouldn’t have been expecting to go into tomorrow’s home game against Eastleigh looking to get off the mark at the third time of asking, but manager Ian Evatt is making sure panic doesn’t set in with the season still at an early stage.

The match at Holker Street is a quick chance to make amends for Tuesday night’s deflating 3-0 home defeat against Harrogate Town, where the Bluebirds’ weakness in defending set-pieces was laid bare.

It would be a stretch to say the pressure is on when AFC come up against the Spitfires, but it would certainly help their confidence if they were able to end what has been a disappointing week with a more positive result.

Evatt has impressed upon his players that they need to start doing the ‘ugly’ side of the game better and is expecting more of a reaction than what he got against Harrogate.

Evatt said: “I’m not going to hit the panic button because I know these players have got it in there, it’s just that we’ve got to get it out of them somehow.

“That goes back to stripping it all back to basics and being hard to beat, winning tackles, winning headers and being competitive, wanting it more than the opposition and running more than the opposition.

“At the moment, that is not the case but that will change pretty quickly.”

Evatt hasn’t ruled out reverting to a back three against Eastleigh in an effort to shore up his backline against another team who finished in the National League play-offs last season.

It’s an approach that proved very beneficial to the Bluebirds when Evatt did so after a 3-0 defeat against the Spitfires in last season’s equivalent fixture, as they went on to keep five consecutive clean sheets in the league.

Evatt said: “We could definitely do that - it’s something that we’ll think about and look at because, at the minute, we need to get and extra marker and an extra centre-back on the pitch.

“I’m not going to try and give too much away but that’s something we’ll definitely look at because as much as we have the ball and we’re passing it nicely and we’re moving it nicely, are we doing the ugly side of it? Definitely not.

“Possibly, changing the formation might change that side of things.”

What Evatt won’t want is a repeat of the way Barrow gifted chances to Harrogate by giving away a succession of cheap free kicks that they failed to deal with.

In comparison, the Yorkshiremen created very little from open play.

Evatt said: “We gifted them the game. We were dominating the game in the first half and then we give away a sloppy goal. We dominate the start of the second half and we give away a sloppy goal.

“There’s a theme and the same thing happened at Wrexham. We’ve got to stop it and we’ve got to be harder to beat, it’s as simple as that.”

A healthy midweek crowd of 1,602 were inside Holker Street against Harrogate and Evatt is hoping they’ll return despite the disappointment of that loss.

He said: “They’ll be as deflated as I was, but what I will say is don’t lose faith.

“It’s never going to be a smooth ride, you have to be positive and keep that faith in me and keep that faith in the team. I have the faith in the team for them to turn it round quickly and when they do, they’ll be hard to stop.”