Horsham YMCA will be in 'control of their own destiny' if they pick up nine points from their next three league games, starting with Tuesday night's home game against Lancing.
The Lancers sit twelfth in the Premier Division after picking up 18 points from 15 games. The Gorings Mead-outfit sit top of the table after a 5-2 away win over Arundel and maintained their two point advantage over second-placed Chichester City.
YM and Lancing have already met this season, in the Peter Bentley Cup on 4 September, and advanced to the next round with a comfortable home 4-1 win.
With a testing Christmas schedule ahead of YMCA, including games against Chichester and third-placed Newhaven, Buckland felt this period will be key if they are to achieve their title aspirations.
SEE ALSO Horsham YMCA advance in Peter Bentley Cup as Buckland looks ahead to emotional FA Cup day | Horsham YMCA boss Buckland felt 'the points were never in doubt' in convincing Arundel win | Peter Bentley Cup semi-final spot for Horsham YMCA as they overcome early scare at Lingfield
He said: "Lancing are an active young side and we can't take anything for granted. I just said to the lads, we've got three home games now back-to-back and we want nine points and to maintain the gap at the top approaching the Christmas period.
"I think from Christmas going into January is when it all starts to kick in I feel. It's when you need to be in and around it and if we can remain top then it'll be even better. You can control your own destiny then."
Ahead of Tuesday night's game, Buckland confirmed a number of long-term injury absentees but revealed he had bought in a 'keeper to compete with Aaron Jeal.
He added: "Aaron Jeal was missing Tuesday night (against Lingfield in the Peter Bentley Cup quarter-final) but we've re-signed Sam Smith from Loxwood. He's played for us before so I've got no qualms about putting Sam in goal because he's a good 'keeper.
"Long-term injuries for us are Tom Gilbert, Dave Brown, and Luke Donaldson. Adam Hunt is still ongoing but other than that, Ash (Dugdale) missed the game against Arundel but he will probably be on the bench against Lancing."
Kick-off tonight at Gorings Mead is 7:30pm.