Assistant-manager Jason Hampson regards AFC Portchester’s Wessex premier encounter against Cowes Sports at the Blanchard Wells Stadium as a ‘must win game’.
Hampson is standing in for manager Ian Saunders, who is away with work commitments.
The Royals’ six-game winning run came to an end with a 3-2 defeat at Andover at the weekend and Hampson expects them to bounce back to winning ways.
‘We are at home and it is a game we have to expect to win,’ said Hampson.
‘Only three points will be good enough.
‘The result at Andover was disappointing because we were 2-1 up at half-time.
‘I thought we were in with a good chance of being the first team to beat them in the league this season.
‘In the second half, though, Andover took control of the game.
‘We need to get back on it against Cowes.’
Horndean face a tricky midweek trip across the Solent to take on Newport IOW at St Georges Park.
Michael Birmingham’s squad are in a confident mood, though, after thrashing Hamworthy United 6-0 at Five Heads Park.
Birmingham is hoping to see his team produce an equally-ruthless performance against the Islanders.
‘We are all fit, raring to go and, hopefully, will bag another three points,’ said Birmingham.
‘It is never easy going across to the Isle of Wight for a midweek game.
‘But if we approach it in a professional manner we can get the job done.’
Liam Kyle and Danny Boyle return to the squad after suspension.
Work commitments, however, rule out Lee Tigwell and Jack Warren.
Baffins Milton Rovers accept they will need to adapt their game as they visit Hamworthy United.
The Dorset side play on a 4G pitch which is alien to the visitors.
‘Hamworthy must have a big advantage training and playing on the surface every week,’ said Baffins manager Louis Bell.
‘We have to make sure that we go into the game with the right attitude.’
Bell is boosted by the return of young central defender Connor Saunders to the squad.
He rates the 17-year-old as one of the finds of the season.
‘The lad has been pulling up trees for us this season,’ said Bell.
– KEVIN RICKETTS