Tom Wade has hailed the “fantastic attitude, character and spirit” among his Blyth Spartans squad.
The Croft Park club are seventh in the table ahead of today’s trip to 15th-placed Ilkeston, seven points short of a play-off place.
Midfielder Craig Hubbard has joined Whitley Bay.
But Wade – who is without Ryan Cummings (foot) – said: “The lads’ attitude is fantastic.
“Blyth Spartans is still a big name in non-league circles and every time they pull on the shirt you can see they know what an honour it is. They also know it could be the last time they ever do it, because of the competition for places and the fact that lads want to come to the club.
“They’re fighting for their shirt every time they play, but at the same time they’re starting to look like they believe they belong.
“Beating Skelmersdale (United) last week showed that.
“They’re growing in confidence and look like they feel they deserve to be at this level.
“A lot of them have had to prove a few people wrong, people who maybe thought they weren’t good enough.
“But they’ve done that with great attitude and character, and sometimes that can get you through, that spirit.”
With just two home games among their remaining nine matches, Wade added: “We’ve got an extremely tough run.
“We’ve played well away from home this season but without always getting the results our performances have deserved.
“If we want to get back into the play-off positions that has to change.”
Meanwhile, Blyth’s Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final replay against Ashington will take place at Croft Park on Tuesday, April 8 (7.30pm).