Interim boss Sam Cox praised the endeavours of his confidence-shot Wealdstone squad despite falling to yet another defeat as they lost 2-1 at home to Southend United on Tuesday.

Cox, who played for the club over a three-year period, seemed confident he had seen enough from his side to avoid relegation from the National League and recover their situation.

“If the boys show signs of that kind of performance from now until the end of the season, then these next four games - I think we’re going to be okay,” Cox said bullishly.

“We’ve got to take huge positives from the way they’ve reacted off the back of the [4-0] defeat on Saturday against Boreham Wood and the manner in which we got beaten.

"I think it shows exactly what we spoke about: wanting a reaction, wanting to fight for this club, wanting to fight for the badge, and they’ve shown enough in the performance.

“It’s a disappointing result, we know that. We know we need points at this point of the season, of course, but these next four games are massive for us, and I’ve just told them 'if you can put in the same performance of effort, grit, and determination on Thursday, we’re going to be okay from now until the end of the season'.”

On the relationship he has with the players available, Cox sent a clear message to the squad in response to the defeat.

“We know the situation. The amount of time we have on the grass with these boys is difficult. That was one of the difficulties under the last tenure with David [Noble] and Neil,” he added.

“It’s hard to get the hours to get the structure exactly how we want it. If the boys can take on information the way they did before the game off the back of half an hour of analysis work, perform the way they did, and execute it, then I think we’re going to be okay.

“We know we’ve got to stop conceding goals like we did and have been doing. We have to try and eliminate that, but if they perform the way they did and take on the tactical elements, which is a big part of the way I want to do things, then I’m encouraged."

With just four games to go and Stones in 20th place, a point above Boreham Wood, Cox has a huge challenge on his hands to keep them in the division, and he was keen to emphasise the importance of staying focused on the task at hand.

“It’s the most important thing. I brought the boys in a little bit earlier today and the key points were 'it’s with us, and it’s within this changing room',” he said.

“It’s about team spirit, who wants to fight and be on board with this, and all of them have shown a fantastic response. They all want to fight for this club. It’s not the result we wanted, but we go again. We’ve got to pick these boys up for Thursday.”

Stones welcome Dorking to Grosvenor Vale tonight (Thursday), then host champions Chesterfield on Saturday and Eastleigh on Tuesday.