Under-fire Hawks boss Shaun Gale faces the toughest test of his managerial career as the Hawks entertain fellow Blue Square Bet Conference South strugglers Thurrock at Westleigh Park (3pm).
With just two wins from their opening nine league games this term, the Hawks are in danger of seeing their season over before it has hardly even started.
With the pressure building, Gale knows it’s a must-win game.
The manager feels let down by some of his players and has pledged to get rid of those he describes as ‘wrigglers’ if results and performances don’t improve.
‘I am not silly enough to know that if we don’t start winning football matches the pressure will increase,’ said Gale.
‘There will always be speculation and that goes with the territory.
‘It doesn’t matter what level you are managing at, if you are not winning, the chairman and the fans are not going to be happy.
‘We (the first team) are not happy, either.
‘This is probably the worst situation I have been in since becoming manager, but I have broad shoulders and will keep working hard until the powers at be think otherwise.
‘We haven’t buried our heads in the sand and are actively doing something about it.
‘I’m not going to sit around and wait for the players to hang me.
‘There are a few issues that need dealing with within the club because we can’t have what I call “wrigglers” here.
‘I will not have players in the squad who feel it is necessary to have a pop at team-mates instead of looking at themselves.
‘They are bad eggs and create an uneasy environment.
‘I don’t care who they are. If it means moving them on then I will do so.’
Since the 2-0 loss at Maidenhead on Tuesday, Gale, who has since been criticised by winger Craig Braham-Barrett on social networking site Twitter, has been working hard to reshuffle his pack so that he can bring a couple more players in.
It is a game the Hawks need to win in order to try to restore their flagging morale.
In midweek, the confidence drained out of the side as soon as the hosts went in front.
The Hawks have Ryan Woodford back from suspension to bolster the centre of defence, and non-contract player Chris Arthur may be available again.
Centre-half Chris Holland is a doubt after limping off on Tuesday night, while midfielder Steve Ramsey still has two games to serve of his five-match ban.
‘We need to do better and start winning football matches,’ said Gale.
‘I know the squad is good enough to turn things around.
‘This is a big game and now people need to show some character.’
Hawks: Beazley, Newton, McDonald, Arthur, Woodford, Ryan, Holland, Pearce, Fogden, Barrett, Peacock, Igoe, Okus, Braham-Barrett, Whyte, Jones, Hopkinson, Ashmore, Scott.