HALSTEAD Town captain Jake Brown says they have to be positive and get back to how they were playing at the start of the season if they want to keep their Thurlow Nunn League division one south promotion dreams on track in the second half of the campaign.

Having not had a game since their 7-2 win at Wivenhoe Town on Boxing Day, Halstead are due to return to action with a trip to Canvey Island to face Benfleet on Saturday.

They return to action still sat third in the division one south table.

But while it has been a largely successful opening part of the season for the Humbugs, especially compared to how they were sat in early January 12 months ago, they saw points slip away on a couple of occasions in the run-up to their festive fixtures.

They were held 1-1 at Wormley Rovers, points were squandered as they allowed a three-goal lead to be overturned in a 3-3 draw with Little Oakley and Town's players were left feeling they had not made enough of chances created when they were beaten 2-1 by promotion rivals White Ensign.

Those results were a blow to the quest for promotion, but not terminal and Brown knows it won't take much for the team to get back on track as they look to regain the form that put them in the heart of the title race in the first place.

Brown said: “Me and a few of the guys looked back at the games that we’ve had this year and we looked at where we’ve dropped points.

“It showed that we should be at least four or five points better off than what we are so we have to take that knowledge into the second half of the season and really go for it.

“Mark (McLean - Halstead manager) has said to us that we’ve beaten ourselves rather than been beaten in some recent games.

“Our mistakes have cost us.

“So I think we have to go back to where we were when we started the season.

“We began so strongly with playing the way that we did and that will be ground very strongly into us in training because we have to get back there.

“I think we just have to be positive.

“When we sit back and invite pressure in games, that doesn’t help anyone and we’re a much better side when we’re on the front foot and going forward, attacking teams.

“Sometimes it’s easy to do that like when we got ourselves three-nil up against Little Oakley, but we then completely sat off and allowed them to come at us.

“We can’t do that.

“We just need to stay confident and be positive in games to make sure that we ram home the advantage right up until the final whistle."