KIDDERMINSTER Harriers boss Neil MacFarlane refuses to use excuses for his side's shock defeats this season.

As well as an away loss at Chester, the Reds have slipped up against strugglers FC United of Manchester and Southport when both sides were sitting bottom of National League North.

Another surprise result saw them dumped out of the FA Cup by neighbours Stourbridge.

However, following last Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Southport, the manager at Aggborough says he doesn't have time for excuses and is only focused on hitting back quickly once again.

Harriers' ability to recover from defeat has seen them avoid back-to-back losses this term and kept them just a point off leaders Chorley.

He said: "When we suffer set-backs we have bounced back every single time. That says a lot about this group and they'll be looking to do exactly the same this time around.

"None of us saw that performance coming, especially if you'd seen us at Leamington in the week. It was chalk and cheese.

"Sometimes that can happen when you go to the well so often and when you're working with such a small squad like we are.

"That is by no means an excuse though and I wouldn't expect the players to use that because we are one of the fittest squads in the league.

"Sometimes you are just not at it and that happens to every team.

"You have to remember that this is a very tough league and there are teams that have spent a lot more than we have that are struggling.

"It was a disappointing performance but we have to be proud of how we have done so far and be pleased with the fact that we have put ourselves one point off the top and in a real position to challenge this season.

"We just need to keep pushing, try and strengthen when we get the right opportunity and work on making sure we don't have too many halves like that against Southport."

He is expecting another hard-fought encounter at Liberty Way on Saturday, adding: "Nuneaton will be another tough test for us. I watched them against Chester this week and they were unlucky not to take something from the game.

"We know we need to be back to our best and everyone is working as hard as ever to react. We know every team in this league can be dangerous and we're under no illusion of what is required."

MacFarlane has no major injury issues ahead of the weekend.