Rooks assistant manager Nick Brown thinks his and Simon Wormull’s Lewes side will benefit from the return of more experienced heads to the line up.
The Rooks were leading high-flying Canvey Island through an early Alex Malins goal on Saturday – but handed that advantage straight back with a softly-conceded penalty – before the visitors went on the win the game with a goal scored late in the second half.
Brown said he and Wormull were still confident of pushing back up the table, despite poor recent results – and insisted the return of players such as Jack Walder, Lewis Hamilton, Chris Breach, Steve Robinson and Callum Dunne will only help in that cause.
Walder and Hamilton started on Saturday with Dunne rested ahead of a planned introduction in the postponed game with Margate in midweek. He should figure in tomorrow’s game at Cray Wanderers.
Brown said: “Jack (Walder) was unlucky and came off after 55 minutes . Louis (Hamilton) was back in but we still had two U18s starting in the back line.
“We gave away a very sloppy penalty, which has been our problem – the goals we have been conceding have been from our own mistakes.
“We were playing well but then gave away a goal. And then it looked as if we were feeling sorry for ourselves after conceding the penalty – and you just can’t afford to do that.
“But it was a difficult game – if you looked at that game you’d never think that they were fourth from top and we were fourth from bottom.
“The quality’s still there,” insisted Brown, “but we need the experienced players with their organisation skills.
“The young players have been playing well but they will benefit from having a few more of the more experienced players around them.
“Breachy would have been back for Saturday if the Margate game hadn’t been postponed (the defender is now still banned for the Cray game tomorrow because of that postponement).”
Of Steve Robinson, who has been out since the turn of the year with a bad knee injury, he said: “He has been doing a lot of running. We’ve not added any football to it yet. At his age you’re not in any position to be rushing him back. If he plays five, two, even one game for us at the end of the season, he could be vital for us. But if we try and rush him back too soon, and he breaks down in his first match back, then he’s out for the rest of the season.
“But he’s been a massive presence in and around the dressing room. He gets the boys up for games and is a very positive presence to have around.”
Brown said Robinson’s recovery had been going smoothly. “He’s had all the right treatment, has been off to some private physios.”
Looking ahead to Lewes’ vital run in of games, Brown said: “We know the importance of each game. All the games are massive now – they’re all cup finals, they’ve become six-pointers. But neither Worms or I have been describing any of the games as ‘make or break’ or anything like that.
“We’re definitely confident that the boys will push on. If we play like we can then I’m positive that someone will be on the end of a beating.”
Brown said he and Wormull were still looking at the possibility of bringing new players in but couldn’t put a time frame on it. “There are a few players we’re looking at, he said. “We could have a couple of bits of action going on in the next couple of weeks. It could be tomorrow, it could be next week.”