Eastbourne coach Roger Stanley admits he is already building for next season, but that doesn’t mean he’s written this one off yet.
The Blue and Golds host Park House tomorrow (2.30pm), with a fourth-placed finish still in their sights and a 100 per cent home record to maintain.
Just six league matches remain and Stanley sees each one as an opportunity to set his side up for an even bigger push next year.
He said, “I’d love to keep the 100 per cent record all season, that would really give us a platform for next season.
“Fourth to seventh are the positions that are up for grabs. I said initially that we can come fourth in the league and I would like to achieve that.
“Park House beat us earlier in the season, I didn’t think they played that well but they’ve obviously improved as they’re fourth in the table.
“Realistically the aim is to win the remaining games, we need to target every one.
“I don’t think we’ve got an easy game left this season, we’ve got to go to Folkestone, who we beat at home and I’m really looking forward to Heathfield, because they hammered us earlier in the season.
“It’s not a bad end to the season. It doesn’t feel very home straight-ish, with the weather, but I suppose it is.”
Stanley’s men had been well-placed to secure a top-four finish, but defeats on the road at Medway, Dartfordians and last week at Crowborough have seen them slip off the pace in recent weeks.
But despite going down 24-7 to the league leaders on Saturday, the coach believes his squad can take heart from the peformance.
“The score probably flattered them, though they deserved to win,” he said.
“They made fewer mistakes than we did but there wasn’t a gulf between the sides.
“I think we’ve got to keep the same intensity and form, not feel we’re playing a lower side and switch our heads on.”
Recent acquisition Chris Chilvers will come in for Nathan Ring (work) in the back row, while there will be a reshuffle in the backs with Sean Hughes-Gage unavailable.
Team: Webb, Oakey, Barron, Mottram, Tobin, Chilvers, Denny, Redman, Keen, Clark, Williams, Thompson, Everett, Smith, Turner.