Needham Market manager Mark Morsley believes the crucial upcoming month of fixtures will define his sides season.
Having seen their previous game with Aveley postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch, the Marketmen turn their attentions to a trip to struggling Erith and Belvedere tomorrow (3pm) before preparing for a visit of neighbours and play-off rivals AFC Sudbury on Tuesday (7.45pm).
And with his side currently four points off the play-offs with matches against other promotion hopefuls VCD Athletic, Thurrock and Witham Town to follow in February, Morsley is well aware of the importance of getting points on the board.
“We have got to beat Erith on Saturday it is as simple as that,” he said. “We will have to go there and to be hard to beat, look to be bullish and start racking up points as soon as possible.
“This coming month will go a long way to defining our season, it is really important and by March we could know where we will find ourselves at the end of the season.
“Matches with Sudbury are always exciting because I have that connection with the club.
“We drew with them at their place and beat them in the FA Cup, so I think they will have revenge on their minds.
“If results go our way then things can change quickly because there are a lot of teams involved.”
However, it is not just the play-off picture that the manager has got his eye on, as despite his side being nine points adrift of leaders VCD Athletic, with two games in hand, he has not ruled out the possibility of winning the league.
“If we can pick up points in big games and get on a roll then I don’t think you can count us out of anything, including winning the league,” he added. “I genuinely don’t believe the current leaders will run away with it and, of all the top seven, we are the ones who haven’t had that run, our time is definitely still to come.”
Despite being frustrated with the week-long absence from action, the enforced break has brought some reward with the return to fitness of leading marksman Sam Newson, although Lee Townrow appears to have played his last game for the club after being made available for transfer this week.
“Sam will be involved in some part,” explained Morsley. “I really liked Lee, but he’s fallen down the pecking order and I feel we have better options.”