Hawks manager Shaun Gale is calling on his players to stand up and be counted as they travel along the south coast to meet Eastbourne Borough in Blue Square Bet South (3pm).
Gale was appalled by his side’s defending at Salisbury on bank holiday Monday as they crashed to a 4-1 defeat.
The manager will also demand greater discipline from his players after losing four of their opening six games, collecting three red cards and conceding four penalties in the process.
‘The goals conceded at Salisbury were like something you see at a circus and our defending was shocking,’ said Gale.
‘To say it was schoolboy defending would be unfair on the schoolboys.
‘Their first goal came from our mistake and as a team we let that affect us.
‘After that, certain players did not do their jobs and there was a lack of desire.
‘What made it more frustrating was it came after our tremendous performance in beating Truro 4-1 and making them look very ordinary.
‘There is no consistency and one or two players are not doing themselves any favours at the moment.’
Having to reshuffle his back four, after full-back Jake Newton jetted off on Sunday to join in Guyana’s World Cup preparations, didn’t help Gale but the defending was often shambolic against Salisbury, with both central defenders and goalkeeper culpable for three of the goals.
Despite not playing well, the Hawks got back on terms before half-time through Wes Fogden, only to concede a penalty before the break.
As their hosts banged in the goals, Gale’s misery was completed with the dismissal of defender Ryan Woodford for a second bookable offence in the later stages of the second half.
With such a small squad, Gale can ill-afford to lose players to suspension.
Midfielder Steve Ramsey starts a five-match ban this weekend and the team are beset with other problems.
Paul Hinshelwood dislocated his elbow after falling over at home and is unlikely to feature, while there is also a doubt over Sam Pearce who limped off on Monday.
The good news for Gale, however, is that striker Lee Peacock is set to make a return and his experience could prove invaluable.
‘The situation is not ideal but we have to go to Eastbourne and be on our mettle,’ said Gale.
‘It is vital that we get back on track because we don’t want to get too far detached from the play-off positions.
‘I can accept players making mistakes but I won’t accept some of the things I have seen.
‘If I need to shake things up then I will because I am not prepared for us to go all season as a yo-yo team.’
Hawks: Ashmore, Beazely, Ryan, Woodford, Holland, Pearce, Fogden, Jones, Igoe, Braham-Barrett, Peacock, McBean, Nwokeji, Eberendu, Scott, Whyte.