WITH their FA Cup adventure over, Guiseley have to face up to the harsh reality of their fight for National League survival.

Successive defeats by Bromley, Dagenham & Redbridge and Sutton, along with favourable results for the teams around them, have seen them drop to 23rd place .

They are just one point above bottom team Solihull Moors and need to turn their faltering league form around as they prepare for a tricky trip to mid-table Ebbsfleet.

The 3-0 cup defeat at Mansfield also left them with further disciplinary problems after defenders Darren Holden and Chris M’Boungou were both sent off.

Holden has received a three-game ban while M’Boungou misses the next two.

But Guiseley will have John Rooney back after a one-match suspension along with Alex-Ray Harvey and Rowan Liburd who were both cup tied.

“We’ve got to pick ourselves up,” said boss Paul Cox.

“It is also important that we do our best to keep 11 players on the field.

“We have been reduced to nine men once and ten men twice and that puts a real strain on everybody.”

Reflecting on the defeat at Mansfield where the Lions struggled, Cox added: “We created a piece of history in reaching the second round of the FA Cup, but our decision making and form in league matches around the cup ties has been a bit erratic.

“I know we face a tough challenge, but I see a lot of positives.

“There are still 25 games and 75 points to play for.

“We have matches in hand on all the teams around us, so it is up to us “We have got to get back to being hard to beat and we have to be positive.”

There are four key areas which have kept Guiseley at the wrong-end of the table this season.

Their away record, goal output and poor disciplinary record have conspired with a lengthy injury list to leave them facing another fight for National League survival.

Guiseley have won only once on their travels and have scored just 19 times – the lowest total in the division – in 21 games while they have already been hit by five suspensions.

They have had four sending offs, M’Boungou (2), Ash Palmer and Darren Holden, while Connor Brown and John Rooney have been had bans for ten and five bookings respectively.

To add to the difficulties there have been long-term injuries.

Midfieldman Will Hatfield has undergone surgery on a groin injury which is expected to rule him out for the rest of the season.

Fellow midfielder James Wesolowski has suffered a number of setbacks in his bid to return to fitness, as has full back Marcus Williams

Centre backs Rob Atkinson and Elliot Green are other long-term absentees.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” said Cox. “We have to roll our sleeves up and work to turn things around.

“We have to get back to the standards we were showing before the Bromley game.”