Eastbourne United manager Tobi Hutchinson is looking at the bigger picture following their 7-1 beating at Chichester City last Saturday.
United have shown improvement under Hutchinson since he took charge midway through the season following the departure of previous boss Simon Rowland.
Hutchinson admits that Chichester was a painful defeat to take but United have lost just three in their last 12 matches, winning eight and drawing once against title chasing Eastbourne Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
“We have been on an decent run of form,” said Hutchinson. “Perhaps Chichester was just a game too far for some of these lads. It has been a long season and many of the lads are a bit battered and bruised. It is a case of patching them up and getting them out there.
“The lads have been excellent but last week we were off the pace. When we went two down you could see there was not that spark to turn it around and then Chichester tore us to pieces. It was not good to watch.”
United have another stern test this weekend as they welcome Eastbourne Town’s title rivals Horsham to the Oval. Hutchinson men could do their neighbours a huge favour if they gain three points on Saturday.
Hutchinson however was still bristling from comments made by Town manager John Lambert before and after their Bank Holiday derby clash.
He added, “It was suggested we don’t want Town to go up but that’s quite the opposite. I want what’s best for football in Eastbourne and if that means missing a local derby then so be it.
“We have a big game on Saturday and we will be giving it our all to win the match as we always do but we will be doing it for us, for the committee and for our supporters who have been excellent all season.”
United are ninth in the league standings and have three matches remaining. Hutchinson is looking to finish strong as they prepare for next season.
“I feel we have a good, solid base to build on. We will be working hard to keep the existing players and add a few more.”
See pages 94 and 95 for the latest league tables, fixtures and results.