WITH Wanderers’ form hitting its roughest spell since October and doubts being cast on the club’s play-off ambition, Gethin Jones believes the answer can be found in-house.

Ian Evatt’s side were well beaten by in-form Ipswich Town on Saturday, looking a pale shadow of the swaggering side that had been whispering about an assault of their own on the automatic promotion places just a few short weeks ago.

As one of the senior players in the dressing room, Jones feels some personal responsibility for getting things back on track, a task which will start when the players return to Lostock this morning to start preparing for Friday night’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

“Since I was a young lad I’ve seen confidence come in and out. If we played Tuesday night and won 3-0 then confidence goes sky high again,” he said.

“That is why in football you have to be level-headed at all times, not get sky-high when you win and not too low when you lose.

“Obviously there are a lot of young lads in the squad at the moment, so us older players need to pick them back up and get things back together.

“I’ve been here two-and-a-half years now and back then we were going through a real rough patch in League Two but we came out of it with promotion. We just need to stick at this as a group, don’t look too far down the line. First and foremost that starts with a performance at Sheffield Wednesday.”

Reaction to the performance against Ipswich among supporters has been suitably downhearted, as the Whites dropped to sixth in the table with their first home defeat since October.

Within the walls of the dressing room the players – and the manager – knew they had not lived up to their end of the bargain.

“The performance wasn’t there. I’d say 20-25 minutes max, we were dominant,” Jones said.

“It was disappointing to concede just before half time and we can sit here and talk about missed chances at crucial times but I think we have to look at us as defenders as well and why we conceded them. We win together and we lose together.

“We had a good chat in the changing room and we need to stay together as a group, as a whole squad, get back to the training ground and keep working hard.

“We need to get confidence back in the lads, really. It has been tough and there have been a lot of games but we had a week to concentrate on Ipswich and the most disappointing thing was that we didn’t put it on them in the first half.

“First 15-20 minutes of the second half I felt we were dominant but in the chat we had after the game we were asking why we hadn’t started like that?

“There are some big games coming up now and we need to be ready.”

Wanderers travel to Hillsborough on Friday, then start preparing for the Papa Johns Trophy final against Plymouth Argyle – a game which many feel could have proved a distracting factor in the past few weeks.

“Maybe mentally, maybe people are looking at the hype of going to Wembley,” said Jones, asked if that was the case.

“For us, though, the biggest thing is the league. We have said it from day one when we came back from pre-season and our performances need to be better. If we do, results will come.

“You never know in this league, we have still got nine big games, starting with Sheffield Wednesday away. If results go our way and we can get on a run again, you never know what might happen. We need to look at ourselves first, get back to the training ground, get back to playing the way we want to play.

“We know Sheffield Wednesday are flying and it is going to be a big crowd again.

“Every game will be massive from here to the end of the season and it’ll be a big atmosphere there, so we need to be ready for it.”