BRIGHTLINGSEA Regent boss Tom Rothery believes hard graft will be the key to his side enjoying a strong second half of the season.

The R’s halted a run of four straight Bostik League premier division defeats with a 2-1 success at Lowestoft Town on New Year’s Day.

It came hot on the heels of a 3-0 reverse at home to Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.

Having got back on track with a much-improved performance, Rothery hopes his players keep their standards high and keep giving their all.

“The one thing we’ve always had at this club is a willingness to outwork teams,” he said.

“We play with intensity and that’s our strength.

“We haven’t got a big budget but the one thing we’ve got to do as a team and as a collective is work hard.

“We have to be prepared to work harder than the other team and then show those little moments of quality that we’ve undoubtedly got.

“That will then win us games.

“It’s a mentality thing and the players were feeling sorry for themselves after Saturday.

“The easy option is to roll over and accept it but when you’re on a bad run, the only thing that will change it is sticking together and working hard.

“Do you feel sorry for yourself or stand up and be counted?

“I have to hope there’s enough players in our dressing room willing to do the latter.”

Billy Hunt was the two-goal hero at Crown Meadow on Monday.

Regent had to do it the hard way after coming from behind.

Harvey Hodd put the hosts ahead but Hunt restored parity just before the half-hour mark when a long ball into the box was knocked into his path by Aaron Condon.

The striker then grabbed his side’s winner on 53 minutes, pouncing after Harry McDonald’s shot was saved by Lowestoft keeper Ben Dudzinski.

Brightlingsea are back on their travels on Saturday when they head to play-off chasing Metropolitan Police.

And Rothery wants everyone to “step up” to the challenge to try and produce another positive performance.

“When it was going well it was easy – all roses and chocolates – and everyone jumped on the bandwagon,” he said.

“I’ll always look at myself and ask myself what I could do better.

“Have I said the right thing? Have I made the right decision?

“As a manager, I want to keep challenging myself and test myself against the likes of Dulwich and Billericay.

“Can we out-think teams like that and cause them problems?

“I’ll always ask myself those questions, because that’s my character, but the players have got to do that too.

“They’ve got to be honest with themselves and we need everyone to step up.”