Gosport & Fareham director of rugby Mark Wells has called on the players to ‘stop making excuses’ ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Old Alleynians (2.30pm).
The blue & golds are gunning for the title but Wells believes a lack of commitment has scuppered their progress since Christmas.
He has hit out at some players, who he believes are making poor excuses not to attend matches or training.
Wells said: ‘It is time to get our show back on the road.
‘After going unbeaten in our first 14 games we have fallen off a cliff.
‘Since Christmas we have gone through a difficult spell and it has not been pleasant.
‘Now we need a number of players to man up and take their responsibilities more seriously.
‘We have had an awful lot of unavailability, with some players lacking the necessary commitment.
‘It is unbelievable how players can make up some excuses for not playing or training.
‘Since Christmas we have been forced to make 10 or 11 changes each week.
‘That isn’t good enough and you have to question whether we deserve to go back up into London one.
‘Some players have stuck with it but they are in the minority.
‘Not once in the last two years have we had all 15 players selected available at training the Thursday before a game.
‘It makes planning anything impossible and our coaches Scott Ashley and Neil McRoberts have done well to stick with it.
Gosport were beaten by Havant in the Hampshire Cup but it’s recent league setbacks that have hit hardest.
An embarrassing first defeat of the season against lowly Effingham & Leatherhead and a draw at Winchester have badly dented their title hopes.
They remain level on points with leaders Guildford but the Surrey side have a game in hand.
With five games left, Gosport believe they can still wrestle the initiative back, particularly as they still have to visit Guildford.
The home side are boosted by the return of experienced second-row Chris Thompson, from injury, and captain Matt Smith is also available to play.
There are doubts over Jordan Humphreys, Tom Lewis and Wayne Dugan. They will all have late fitness tests.
‘Our defeat at Effingham & Leatherhead was a disgrace, though to give them credit they played well,’ said Wells.
‘Recent performances have not been good enough.
‘We have to get back on track against Old Alleynians.
‘They played a good running game at their place earlier in the season and we will have to be aware of that.’
Meanwhile, Petersfield and Fareham Heathens face off in a top-of-the-table Hampshire one showdown at Penns Place.
Heathens trail their hosts by nine points but have two games in hand.
Third-placed Locks Heath Pumas venture down the Waterside to take on fifth-placed Fawley.