HELSTON Athletic manager Steve Massey has admitted that his side is low on confidence at the moment.

The Blues came into the 2020/21 South West Peninsula League season as title favourites after their stellar campaign the year before, in which they won 24 out of 25 games and scored 100 goals.

But this season has been a different story so far, with Massey’s side sitting well off the pace of the leaders, having already dropped more than three times the number of points in their first ten games than they did in the whole of the shortened 2019/20 campaign.

Injuries and unavailability have not helped, with Ryan Beattie, Matt Bye, Neil Slateford and Josh Storey among several players who have had to sit out matches so far this season.

But Massey, who has missed his side's last two games while he is self isolating with illness, has admitted that confidence is low amongst the camp.

“It has been hectic and chaotic at times," he said. "We’ve lost a game, won five and drawn four, and all four of those games that we’ve drawn, take aside the St Austell one, have all coincided with late goals that we’ve conceded and dropped points to.

“Confidence is everything. It’s a big word and it’s a big part in football at this level.

“We are a good side that is low on confidence, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. You might say that’s your job to get them motivated, and it is and I accept that responsibility, and at this level that is what this game is all about – motivation, desire, confidence and passion.”

He added: “Certainly don’t think I’m sat here feeling sorry for ourselves thinking: ‘Oh we’ve been unlucky here and there.’ Not at all. It’s all of our own making, it’s all my responsibility.

“But I do know that we have a squad that is quite, quite capable of firing and when we do we’re going to wallop some teams, absolutely.”

One factor in Helston’s faltering campaign thus far has been the lack of consistency between the sticks, with goalkeeper Jason Robertson opting to take a break from first-team duties.

Massey’s bid to sign a replacement has not been straightforward, with St Austell’s Jason Chapman and Ilfracombe Town goalkeeper Steve Oliver both turning down moves to Kellaway Park.

Ex-St Dennis man Ryan Holland and former Blues ‘keeper Barrie Wyatt have both temporarily filled the void recently, with the position currently being occupied by former Callington custodian Sam Borthwick.

“The goalkeeper situation absolutely sums us up this season, and it’s such an important position,” Massey said. “It’s a huge part of that spine that is really vital to any side.”

He added: “Sam [Borthwick] has done well. We did it all over the phone and I haven’t actually met him personally yet because it all happened very quickly. The lads’ response to me [regarding Sam] has been good.”

While Massey is obviously hoping to see his side, who sit ninth in the SWPL Premier West, begin to climb the table in the next few weeks, he is more keen to see his side regain their confidence first.

“Forgetting the league table, I would like to have the confidence back with all the players and the swagger," he said. "We haven’t had that swagger this season.

"Players have been looking at other players to make things happen or wanting them to spark us, which is really strange considering the run that we had [last season].

He added: “Promotion is our aim this year, of course it is, but if I think I’ve got to maybe just change some things and it means taking a step back before we go two or three steps forward again I’m ready to do that, which is something I would never have thought of a month ago.”