Jon Stead says Notts County need to improve on the less glamorous side of the game after Saturday’s draw with Stevenage.
A much better performance at Meadow Lane earned the Magpies their first point since the opening day of the season but the wait for a win goes on.
And Stead, who opened the scoring in the 3-3 draw, says the side need to do the scrappy things first.
“We need to improve the ugly side of the game and make sure we win second balls,” he said.
“It’s about making sure we defend strongly, win the headers and clear it into the stands when we need to. We need to get better at that sooner rather than later.
“We’re working hard day in, day out to stop shipping goals like we have been and to become more solid at the back.”
After taking the lead three times during the game, Notts were disappointed to settle for a point.
But Stead feels ending the losing run was vital.
“With the way things have been going it’s really important that we’ve managed to stop the rot today,” he said.
“Scoring three goals and taking a point from the game is a plus because we haven’t done that for a long time.
“We’ve shown we can create openings and it’s frustrating to have taken the lead three times but we have to take the positives.”
The veteran striker says that late in the game the players struggled to maintain their intensity - but he believes that will improve in time.
Stead explained: “You could see we were blowing with 20 minutes to play and that’s when Stevenage started to control the game but we all put a shift in today.
“The fans want to see the players working hard for the shirt and chasing down the lost causes and they stuck with us all day which I think was due to our work ethic.
“We feel we’re taking positive steps and we’ve got to show a real statement of intent that we are working harder as a team because the supporters respond to that.”