Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has revealed his side are suffering an injury crisis ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Eastbourne Town.
The eagerly-anticipated meeting in the Premier Division sees the Hornets go into the clash five points clear of second-placed Town having played a game more.
But Di Paola was keen to keep everyone’s feet on the ground stressing it is just another three points up for grabs, even though victory for Town would hand them the initiative.
The home side are also struggling with a plethora of injuries to the spin of their team - with five key players walking wounded.
Di Paola revealed: “We have a lot of knocks and lot of injuries and concerns. Biff (Joe Shelley) is struggling big time with his groin, Ash (Jones) is with his hamstring, Bozzy (Darren Boswell) has done his hamstring, Graham Martin’s knee isn’t right and Hunty (Adam Hunt) has a bit of a problem with his knee.
“We had to play a few on Tuesday night when we didn’t want to, but we were running out of players with Tom Atkinson suspended.
“We are struggling big time for Saturday. I didn’t want to play Biff on Tuesday, but he was the best of a bad bunch with the injuries. As when we played them down at their place, it’s just a bit of bad luck and misfortunate.
“The only positive from Tuesday is that Kev (Keehan) got 90 minutes and he is getting there with his fitness, but it is going to be a problem on Saturday - a real problem.”
Town inflicted Horsham’s with their only league loss this season - a 2-1 defeat back in October. And on if he felt this clash was now a must-win, Di Paola replied: “I don’t think so. The stupid thing is we dropped points against Loxwood and I was really cross and then turned it on against Lancing.
“But if you flip the results, beating Loxwood and drawing against Lancing, you’d have taken it and been happy.
“It’s weird football, you want to win every game, but if they beat us (and win their game in hand) they will only be one point ahead of us with a third of the season to go.
“At the end of the day, I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but Saturday is only three points.
“We lost to them down at their place, but we are still in the race, but it’s a bit unfortunate how things have panned out over the past couple of days - after playing on an awful pitch at Wick, which has effected us.
“I don’t think beating them is the be-all and end-all as it isn’t. They are a good side this year, I have been impressed by them. If we draw, we draw, if we lose, we lose, and we win, we win, it’d be nice to win, really nice to win, but it is just another game.”
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