RYAN WOODFORD has vowed the Hawks are not about to panic when they face promotion rivals Needham Market in the Ryman premier on Saturday (3pm).
The Hawks missed out on the chance to go back to the top of the league with a 3-0 defeat at Dulwich Hamlet on Wednesday night.
They remain two points behind leaders Bognor with seven games to play.
Despite Woodford being disappointed by the result at the Champion Hill Stadium, he believes Lee Bradbury’s side can bounce back at the weekend.
‘The result was a setback but no more than that,’ said Woodford.
‘We must make sure that we don’t let it shake our confidence.
‘Now is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves.
‘There certainly won’t be any panic in the ranks because we are still in an outstanding position.
‘Between now and the end of the season there is still plenty of football to be played.
‘All season there have been twists and turns and that isn’t going to change.
‘The good thing is the games are coming thick and fast which means that we have a chance to put things right straight away.
‘We need to win at Needham Market.’
With the Suffolk side just one place below Bradbury’s men in the table it won’t be an easy task.
The Marketmen also boast a 3-1 win over the Hawks at Westleigh Park at the start of the year – on a day the home side ended up well-beaten.
But Mark Morsley’s outfit have suffered a dip in form and are winless in seven games.
And Woodford knows how important it is to keep the pressure on Bognor.
The Rocks meet Canvey Island who have won five on the spin.
‘We feel we owe Needham Market one after they beat us at home,’ Woodford added.
‘It was a game where we didn’t play very well.
‘At this stage of the season, though, it doesn’t matter who we are playing, it is about getting our performances right.
‘We are determined to bounce back from the Dulwich result.
‘It was a strange game because we didn’t play that badly.
‘We missed a few chances early on and when there’s came along they took them.
‘As a squad we will take a few lessons on board, regroup and go again.’
Bradbury is unlikely to have striker Alfie Rutherford available against Needham. He is still struggling with ankle ligament problems.
The Hawks will also be without defender Jordan Rose.
He was brought in to bolster their defence for the run-in but has managed just one game.
Fellow defender Dan Strugnell is close to making a return.