Non-league football: Diskin confident Castle can hit the heights
NEWCASTLE boss John Diskin says his side will go to Rainworth Miners Welfare in good spirits tomorrow despite Tuesday's defeat to Belper.
The Derbyshire club's 2-1 win at the Aspire Stadium ended Newcastle's unbeaten home record.
Diskin was unhappy about some of the defending, but also saw plenty to be positive about as he attempts to establish his side in the top half of the Evo-Stik Division One South.
He said: "We were sloppy at the start of the first and second halves when they scored their goals.
"But apart from that I thought we played some of the best football we had all season."
However, Newcastle certainly made life difficult for themselves with their slow start. Belper hit the post in the first minute before scoring in the second.
Diskin said: "It was frustrating because we told the lads to try to play in the opposition half in the first few minutes. But we went back from the kick-off and they eventually scored.
"We have to improve our defending and concentration levels, but if we can do that, we won't go far wrong."
Newcastle would have gone fourth in the table had they won on Tuesday, having already beaten Gresley 3-1 at the Aspire Stadium on Saturday.
They remain in 11th, but just two points from fourth place, so have plenty of incentive to build on their encouraging form tomorrow.
Diskin has plenty of options because his only injury worry is former Port Vale youth centre-half Andy Bratt who has an ankle problem.
Midfielder Glynn Blackhurst is available after recovering from a back spasm.
That leaves Diskin with plenty of options in midfield because Christian Millar has impressed since he was recruited from Leek last week.
Millar scored on his debut against Gresley and shone again against Belper as a ball-playing midfielder who will enjoy the quality playing surface at Newcastle. Also impressing this week has been former Stoke City youth forward Tom France.
The 19 year old scored against Gresley with his first goal for the club, then followed that up by finding the net against Belper.
Diskin said: "I am good friends with Tom's dad, Carl, who was my chairman when I was at Leek.
"Tom had drifted out of football over the last couple of years because of work commitments. But he has come back into the game and been training with us as well as playing a few games for our reserves.
"He has a very good attitude and has done really well since coming into our first team.
"He is predominantly a wide player, but played up front at Stoke and has done well up front for us.
"He was making good runs behind the defence and will get better as he continues to get fitter."
Keeper Dave Parton is also available after marking his comeback in the Belper defeat.
The former Stoke City Academy keeper has been out after injuring his ribs, but came through on Tuesday without any adverse reaction.