Havant & Waterlooville survival charge must start now! Win so vital against Harrogate Town
Lee Bradbury knows nothing less than a win will be enough for the Hawks as they host Harrogate Town at Westleigh Park on Saturday (3pm).
The hosts are eight points adrift of the safety zone.
They have five games to play and have only managed one success in their past 11.
The Vanarama National League survival bid has reached a critical stage.
On the other hand a win, the first against a top-10 side this season, will maintain the belief the Hawks can still escape.
Failing to pick up points against fellow strugglers, Maidstone, Chesterfield and Maidenhead means the Hawks have to do it the hard way.
Their next two games are against teams pushing for a place in the play-offs – Harrogate and Solihull Moors.
For Bradbury it is now all about winning and putting some pressure on the teams above them.
The Hawks manager said: ‘We will be going all out for the win. Our aim is to win the final five games. We know we aren’t in a good situation and have to rely on other teams not winning.
‘If we can win the next two and the teams above us slip up then it will put the pressure back on them. Trying to get ourselves into that situation is the priority.
‘We have finished the last couple of seasons strongly and it is crucial we do the same again.
‘Though we have not beaten any of the top teams this season some of our best performances have been against them.
‘A lot of encouragement can be taken from the way we played against the likes of Leyton Orient, Wrexham, Salford and Fylde.
‘At times it has been our inexperience at this level that has cost us.
‘The situation is tough but the players are committed to giving it their all right to the end.’
Andreas Robinson is still ruled out by suspension and injured goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski is at least a week away from returning.
That means Laurence Bilboe will make his home debut after arriving on loan from Rotherham United.
Defender Danny McNamara, on loan from Millwall, is also expected to make his first appearance in front of the home fans.
Both Bilboe and McNamara did well in their first game at Sutton United.
Bradbury praised the duo for the impact they have had.
He said: ‘It is never easy for a goalkeeper to come into a side without meeting any of the players before.
‘Laurence did that at Sutton and did well.
‘Danny also had a good game and proved a little pocket rocket.
‘He was physically solid and worked hard which is what you expect coming out of Millwall.’
Both will be needed to play their part in the Hawks fight to stay alive.
Each game will be so important and Bradbury knows the right way to approach them.
He added: ‘We have to go into every game with a cup final mentality.’