Table-topping Napier City Rovers have lost two games on the trot but goalkeeper Ruben Parker Hanks reassures fans not to panic.

The 23-year-old, in his fourth season with the Thirsty Whale-sponsored Blues, rules out any suggestions that the mice were playing while the cats were away - coach Bill Robertson was in Fiji for a family reunion while his assistant, Stu James, was away with the New Zealand Masters team in Thailand last weekend.

Hanks says the coaches were at the helm when they lost 3-1 away to second last-placed newcomers Integration Works Waterside Karori in their Ultra Football Central League round-10 match last Saturday but absent when they succumbed 3-0 somewhat unceremoniously to second-tier Capital Football premiership campaigners Parapine ITM Upper Hutt City in the away round-two ISPS Handa Chatham Cup match on Queen's Birthday Monday.

"Look, honestly, any dominant team slips up so I don't see any reason to panic," says Hanks of the James Hoyle-captained side who had scored 38 goals, at 4.2 a game, and conceded only 13 before the two games. However, he says the Blues were more disappointed with the cup loss because they should have showed more desire in that game.


"We might have taken that game a little lightly but in the league the result against Waterside is disappointing but if you look at the span of the season you can expect a result like that."

Hanks says the players realise they can't rest on their laurels with the league but also factors in their fragility as "human and we'll make mistakes".

He agrees complacency may have played a part on Monday when the mentors were away but believes it should not have.

"If it did then it certainly won't happen again."

Hanks says factors, such as referees' decisions and two trips to Wellington in three days, hadn't made it easy for them but they were punished for taking a defensive stance in a bid to pull a goal back.

He says for a team such as Upper Hutt, it's like a cup final and powerhouses can be found out if they are missing a few key players because they have targets on their backs.

Robertson, who returned home on Wednesday, had asked the senior players to conduct a review of what went wrong in the cup encounter.

The Blues have retained their top perch but the side's five-point gulf over second-placed Stop Out has been whittled down to just two points.


They host mid-table Miramar Rangers in a 2pm kick off at Bluewater Stadium, Park Island, in round 11 of the league tomorrow.

Hanks says it's about getting back in the zone rather than changing the way they play.