EXMOUTH Town manager Richard Pears says both he and his players must up their standards if they are to end Godolphin Atlantic's unbeaten start to the season.
The Cornish visitors – who are Peninsula League Division One West champions – have already beaten Town this month, winning 4-1 in the Charity Vase just before the start of the season.
Town relinquished their unbeaten record on Saturday with a 3-1 defeat at Plymouth Parkway – a defeat for which Pears claims he must take responsibility.
After going behind, Ace High levelled for the Devon side, only for two more goals to see them slip to a 3-1 loss, and Pears admits he got his preparation wrong.
"It was totally my fault and, to be honest, I have to take responsibility for it," he said.
"It was a case of me not preparing the players well enough. That produced a very lacklustre display lacking commitment and self-belief.
"Being a Bank Holiday weekend, we went down in cars rather than on the minibus and that affected how we prepared.
"We were not focused enough in the changing rooms and I felt I was having to get the players more up for the game than I usually do.
"Also, in my team talk I think I spoke too much about the threats of Plymouth Parkway rather than the threat of Exmouth Town. We felt almost intimidated and scared by them and that is not the Exmouth Town that I know."
Pears will be boosted by the return of Lloyd Gardner, Dan Boere and Adam Fowler.
But he concedes a dramatic improvement will be required if they are to beat a side for whom he now has a healthy respect.
"We need to get back on the horse. Godolphin are one of the top sides in the division and we will have to be on our game to beat them," said Pears.
"We will make sure our preparation is better – they've already beaten us once and we know how good they are."
Elmore are finally finding their feet ahead of Saturday's visit from St Austell, according to manager Pete Buckingham.
Despite Jesse Howe's goal, the Eagles lost 3-1 to Exmouth on Wednesday before Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Torpoint Athletic.
But Buckingham feels the second-half performances in both matches are a source for encouragement.
"I was pleased with our second-half performance against Exmouth and it was the same with Torpoint," said Buckingham. "They were both a tale of two halves.
"We just looked dangerous and you could see Torpoint were affected by us.
"Jesse Howe was suspended for the game, Steve Harris was missing and we were still without James Blake too, but I saw enough positives to be encouraged and I know we can hold our own in the division.
"I would like to think we will finish in the top half but so far we have played good sides who will be up there.
"Hopefully, in a month's time we will have strung together a couple of wins and will be much higher up the table."
Chris Vinnicombe is playing down Witheridge's chances of challenging for the title.
They lost to Ivybridge on Bank Holiday Monday, but have had a good start to the season winning four out of their fives games.
They host Camelford on Saturday who have also won four from five and sit joint top with Witheridge, Exmouth and Ivybridge on 12 points.
"There are a lot of teams who haven't started firing yet, Bodmin being one," said Vinnicombe.
"We beat them on the first day of the season and they have lost a few players."
Cullompton Rangers host Liskeard Athletic with new signing Jay Reed hoping to be involved.
Cully lost 3-2 at home to Elburton Villa last time out, despite goals from Dean Stamp and Joe Pryse.
"I had Jay with me at Elmore when I was manager there," said Taylor. "I made contact with him in the week and a he wasn't at a club so I jumped on the opportunity to bring him in.
"Jay can play in an array of positions. He can play full-back and he can play in central midfield, so I think we will try and utilise him as best we can."
Bovey Tracey host Saltash United on Saturday, having drawn 1-1 at Bodmin last week, with Sam Dicken scoring.