PAUL Cox wants to rid his Guiseley team of the anxiety that is dogging their bid to escape relegation from the Vanarama National League.

They have dropped to second bottom after taking five points from their four festive games.

And now they face two more crucial matches in four days as they look to lift themselves out of the mire.

Saturday’s away trip to Eastleigh is followed by a home clash with Gateshead on Tuesday.

Cox said: “You could see the anxiety in our play in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Chester.

“I felt we needed to grab hold of the game, but we were tentative and uncertain.

“I want the players to play more freely and work to cut out the lapses that have cost us dear.

“We have conceded late goals against Wrexham, Macclesfield, Bromley and Aldershot and all proved costly.

“With better concentration and game management we would have emerged with more points. The margins are small.”

With the transfer window now open, Cox is taking a close look at the composition of his squad.

He has already agreed to extend the loans of striker Reece Thompson and young midfielder Scott Smith at Boston and Goole respectively until the end of the season.

Cox has allowed loan striker Raul Correia to return to Blackpool while right back Jake Sheppard has joined on loan from Reading until the end of the campaign.

Teenage defender Will Wells has returned from his spell at Ossett Albion and has the chance to catch the eye of the Lions boss.

He returns at a time when Guiseley may have to seek further defensive cover.

Jake Lawlor is having a scan on the knee he injured against Chester and may face a spell on the sidelines.

Cox said: “We want to establish the extent of the injury. Jake has performed consistently at centre back or central midfield, and if he is ruled out for any period of time it will be a blow.”

Guiseley’s next two opponents, Eastleigh and Gateshead, are in the bottom half of the table.

The Lions need to start getting some wins on the board as they are currently eight points from safety.

“If we can cut out our little blips and start taking more of the chances we are creating, I feel sure the wins will come,” said Cox.

“We have to get the basics right. If we do that we will turn things around. We really have to believe in ourselves.”