Darren Hare says his Hastings United footballers have to win a big game at home to Hythe Town today (Saturday).
Tenth-placed United are 13 points and six positions behind their opponents in the Ryman Football League Division One South table having played three fewer matches.
United manager Hare said: "It's a big game. They don't come much bigger and we need to win. We've got to win this game; it's going to determine where we're going to go.
"They're a very decent outfit. They've got pace, aerial power and physicality, and I think we're going to have to be right on our game to win it. But I think we are capable."
Ex-United players Dave Cook, Sam Adams, Jay May, Frankie Sawyer and Kenny Pogue could all feature for Hythe. Kick-off is 3pm.
The teams were due to meet at Hythe on Tuesday, but the match was postponed within an hour of kick-off after thick descended on the ground.
Jack Harris looks set to play through the pain barrier in a bid to help United’s play-off quest. Hare says the striker requires surgery on his troublesome ankle, but is prepared to battle on in the meantime.
Hare said: “It looks like he’s going to go under the knife. He’s had a scan and he needs to have an operation to repair a tendon.
“He wants to try and battle on until the date comes to have the op so we’ll strap him up and probably give him more of a cameo role until the end of the season.”
In other news, the club has released midfielder Barry Cogan, who has been struggling of late with a recurring hamstring problem.
Hare said: “Full credit to him. He’s going to stay registered with us and once he’s 100 percent, if we need him, he’ll come back.”
Sam Cruttwell looks set to return earlier than anticipated from a hamstring strain picked up against Three Bridges earlier this month.
The 20-year-old was expected to be out for at least 4-6 weeks, but Hare now thinks Cruttwell will be back in the next 7-10 days.
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