Altrincham's promotion bandwagon briefly stalled after "hitting a speed bump" on Boxing Day, but Phil Parkinson confidently predicted a smooth road ahead for his play-off chasers as they prepared for a return meeting with FC Halifax Town on New Year's Day.
Halifax avenged their Isuzu FA Trophy defeat at the hands of the Robins by scoring twice and only conceding a Chris Conn-Clarke goal deep into added time to win 2-1 in front of a bumper near-4,000 crowd at The J.Davidson Stadium.
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent 2023 for the club on and off the pitch, but Parkinson is convinced his "tired and jaded" side will be revitalised and ready to go again by the time they cross the Pennines to take on Halifax for a third time on Monday.
"The Bromley game three days earlier, and all the travel involved, took its toll, and we looked tired and jaded against Halifax, with only a limited amount of juice in the tank," said the Alty manager, who has re-signed winger Dan Mooney from Southend United.
"There is far more to come from us, so with rest and recuperation, I'm sure we can get back to our normal standards when the return game comes around. We've got a tough run of games coming up in January, but we've done fantastically well to get ourselves into this position, and we don't want to let it slip through our grasp.
"The lads have delivered so many times over the course of the season so far. We have hit a bit of a speed bump in the road, but we've got to overcome it. We've got to reset and bounce back, and I have no doubt that we will. We will be absolutely fine.
"You get games like this one, but you can't have too many, and we will have to put it right next week. It has been an outstanding year for us, so disappointed though I am that we haven't been able to deliver for such a great turnout of Alty fans, I won't get too down about it."