JON Higgins admits Dudley Kingswinford are seriously lacking confidence as their relegation fears intensify.
DK suffered yet another last-gasp home defeat as they went down 32-30 to rivals Bromsgrove last Saturday, their fifth consecutive National Two North loss.
Westoe’s 39-38 victory against Caldy means they are now only five points behind Higgins’ side and have momentum as the season enters its final weeks.
Joint player-coach Higgins admitted the pressure is now seriously on DK.
He said: “With Westoe winning it really has closed the gap and you have to say they have the momentum.
“They have picked up a few wins and are playing with confidence whereas it’s the opposite for us.
“We lost at Stockport and I think that leads on to the kind of thing we saw on Saturday.
“Last year we knew if we were within a score with 20 minutes of the game to go we would win but this year we don’t have that.
“You have to be a little bit concerned when you lose to Stockport away and then lost to Bromsgrove at home.”
Higgins and fellow player-coach Pete Knight must be expecting Bill Murray to emerge from the Heathbrook changing rooms at any moment, such has been the Groundhog Day-like nature of their home form.
Just like against Otley, Sheffield Tigers and Hull Ionians, DK led going into the final minutes only for a late score — on this occasion Phil Horton’s converted try — to deny them victory.
Higgins believes DK’s poor away form, they have failed to win away from Heathbrook all campaign, is putting even more pressure on their home performances.
He said: “You can see it with 10 or 15 minutes to go when the game is close.
“The players know we have to take advantage of our home matches and it changes our game.
“We were trying to hang on rather than playing with our usual freedom.”
He added: “We have got to face up to where we are in the league.
“I don’t think anybody played particularly badly on Saturday but what we need now is a win.”
DK visit Luctonians on Saturday.