JIM Cooper insists Grays Athletic are suffering a blip and ‘there is no reason to push the panic button’.

A 3-1 defeat to Great Wakering Rovers - which saw Grays miss out on the chance to reach the Isthmian North summit - resulted in Cooper’s side losing three of their last four fixtures.

And, while admitting a few changes may need to be made, Cooper feels Grays will turn their form around sooner rather than later.

Grays chief Cooper said: “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“But we didn’t take our chances and there are fine margins in football.

“Wakering worked us out and how we play without a shadow of a doubt and we were disappointed.

“We have been disappointing of late and lost our way, but I’m confident it’s only a blip.

“There is no reason to push the panic button.

“Other than Maldon & Tiptree, it appears every team is capable of beating each other.

“The lads are in good spirits and we have to look at ourselves.

“We may have to change our style of play and how we line-up.

“There may need to be a few changes.”

Goals from Jake Gordon, Jon Benton and Jack Stevenson put Wakering in the driving seat at Burroughs Park.

As a result, Joao Carlos’ late spot-kick was not enough for the visitors.

Carlos wasted a glorious chance to give Grays an early lead as, bearing down on goal, he was thwarted by Wakering goalkeeper Bobby Mason.

Wakering responded with Martin Tuohy striking the crossbar before Gordon gave the hosts a 37th minute lead.

The winger turned past Lewis Clark before slotting beyond custodian Danny Sambridge.

Wakering doubled their advantage five minutes later as Sambridge misjudged a Benton cross and allowed the ball to find the back of the net.

Grays should have halved the deficit soon after the interval, but George Purcell was frustrated by Mason having been put through on goal.

After a long spell under pressure, Wakering broke and Gordon forced Sambridge into a fine save.

With 15 minutes remaining, the home side wrapped up all three points.

An unmarked Stevenson met a corner on the volley and lashed an unstoppable shot past Sambridge.

Grays grabbed a consolation goal in injury time as Carlos converted from the penalty spot after Wakering were penalised for handball.

And Cooper was frustrated as Grays failed to build on their comprehensive 6-1 win over Romford three days earlier.

“After the result at Romford, I thought the boys had turned the corner,” added Cooper.

“It’s three Saturdays on the trot where we haven’t turned up and we might have to look at how we prepare for games.”