THE injury crisis is still a big headache as the Hawks continue their pre-season preparations against National League Sutton United at Westleigh Park tomorrow (3pm).
Assistant boss Shaun Gale is hoping a couple of players will return.
Andreas Robinson and Dan Strugnell may feature but Brian Stock, Jordan Rose, Bradley Tarbuck and Mike Carter are sidelined.
It is a far from ideal with the start of the National League South season just two weeks away.
‘It is frustrating but there is nothing we can do about it,’ said Gale.
‘Players are missing key parts of pre-season which isn’t good.
‘We just have to get on with it and keep working with the players who are available.
‘Having a small squad we need to get them fit as quickly as possible.’
Carter appears to have torn a calf muscle which he aggravated during the warm up before the Farnborough game.
The biggest concern, however, is central defender Jordan Rose.
He made limited appearances because of injury when he arrived last season.
Now he has again been hit by an Achilles problem.
The game will see a return to Westleigh Park of ex-manager Ian Baird who is Paul Doswell’s assistant at Sutton.
Last season’s FA Cup heroes will provide a stern test for the depleted Hawks.
‘This is a very tough game for us,’ said Gale.
‘But that is what we need from pre-season.
‘Sutton United have come on in leaps and bounds on and off the field in recent years.
‘What they have achieved is something we are aspiring to.
‘They have some quality players so it should be an attractive fixture.
Meanwhile, Horndean welcome National League South Bognor to Five Heads Park (3pm).
The Deans have signed Liam Kyle on a season-long loan from Moneyfields.
Fareham Town are in action at Sussex County League Pagham (4pm) following a game between the two reserve teams (2pm).
AFC Portchester host Arundel in the morning at Wicor Rec (11.30am).
– Kevin Ricketts