The Gladiators haven’t secured successive wins since the opening week of the campaign when they beat Hednesford and Altrincham at home and this week lost 2-0 at Hednesford in midweek only days after dishing out a 5-0 hammering to Sutton Coldfield Town at the DCJ Group Insurance Arena on Saturday.
Joint boss Kirkwood insists the hard work must continue to find a solution to a problem which is holding Matlock back with a trip to Stalybridge Celtic next up on Saturday.
He admitted: “We need to improve and improve quickly if we are going to do anything this season. But it’s a long season and we’ve got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and go again in the next game.
"It’ll be a nice place to go to but all we’re interested in is getting the win but we’ll have to be on top of our game.”
Looking back on the biggest win under their stewardship last weekend, he said: “We played well on Saturday and it was good to get the goals and see other names on the scoresheet. Everyone worked hard and the margin of victory was deserved. We knew they’d been thumped at Grantham in midweek so we wanted to get that first goal and see where that took us.
"It was also very pleasing and fitting to get the clean sheet on Adam Yates’ 400th appearance. That’s a fantastic achievement and he fully deserved the applause he got at the pre-match presentation.”
Kirkwood is also looking forward to the imminent return of leading marksman Shaun Harrad who missed the Royals win and Hednesford reverse with an ankle injury.
He added: “Shaun won’t be far away when we play at Stalybridge on Saturday. It’s an old ankle injury that’s flared up, it’s just seized up a little. He wanted to give it a go at Hednesford but we decided against it, we didn’t want to risk him making it worse again and being out for a longer spell.”
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