Neil Cox says Notts County need to come out of the traps aggressively when they host Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.
Both sides will be looking to recover from defeats at the weekend when they meet for the first time under the lights at Meadow Lane.
And assistant manager Cox wants to see the Magpies get stuck in from the off.
“We have to win the battles early on,” he said. “We need to play aggressively, start well and continue that for 90 minutes.
“We’ve done our homework on them but it’s about what we do and our players’ reactions to the defeat on Saturday.
“Defensively, we have to stand up and face the threats they pose but we have to get stuck in, get the ball down and play the way we want to.
“We have to be physical enough to handle them but good enough to pass the ball, get around the sides of them and create goalscoring opportunities like we did at the weekend, but start taking them.”
Cox feels there is healthy competition for places in the squad as the players continue to gel and is looking forward to working with them more regularly on the training ground as the demanding fixture schedule beings to ease.
“Everybody is getting fit and people want to play so we’re having to leave good players out, which is what we want to do,” explained the assistant manager.
“Training has stepped up because everyone wants to get in the squad and they are fighting for a place on the bench.
“They all want to get out there and do some serious work because they’ve seen things they want to improve on and ways they can learn from each other.
“We’re seeing good signs and have done really well in parts so I’d say we are a six-and-a-half out of 10 so far this season.”
Solihull have lost their last three games but Cox expects them to provide a tough test on their first trip to Meadow Lane and feels the Magpies have to cope with the pressure of visiting teams wanting to earn a scalp.
“They’re one of the best sides in this league and I expect them to be up there at the end of the season,” he said.
“They’ll be looking forward to coming here for three points so we will fight against them and hopefully get the win.
“People want to come here and beat us and the fans have expectations so we have to be calm and play our way to meet them.
“That puts us under pressure but we have characters in our dressing room and will embrace the challenge of playing at home – don’t worry about that."
Cox also updated on the fitness of two players who sat out Saturday’s defeat in Yeovil.
“Mitch Rose is definitely back in contention,” he said.
“Nathan Tyson has trained a bit but we need to be careful with him. We can’t afford for him to be absent from three or four games so he might miss out again.”