Adam Hinshelwood hopes Worthing will get their season back on track when they host local rivals Bognor Regis at Woodside Road on Saturday.
After a flying start to the season, Worthing have lost five of their past six games in all competitions.
They have slipped to seventh in the Bostik League Premier Division but have games in hand on all the teams above them. They are eight points behind leaders Haringey Borough, who won 2-0 at Woodside Road on Saturday, but have played four games fewer.
Bognor have collected just one point from their past four league matches and sit 13th in the table. Worthing manager Hinshelwood insists Worthing’s sole focus on Saturday is to treat the match like any other and aim to return to winning ways.
He said: “All we’re looking to do is get three points. I know it’s a massive game but we’ve got to try if we can to put that to one side and focus on it like we would any other game.
“I don’t think our mentality would change because it’s Bognor. If it were Wingate & Finchley or anyone else at home, we’d be looking to still get three points and put on a good performance in front of our fans.
“I don’t think our mindset changes too much. Obviously it is a derby game and a big game for all the fans and hopefully there will be a big crowd there.
“But our mindset towards it, in my opinion, doesn’t really alter too much. There’s a few ex-Bognor players in our side now so they’ll be keen to do well, I’m sure, but we’ll be fully focused like we are with any other game.
“We’ve got to get ourselves back on track and get back to winning games. The sooner we can do that, the better.”
Reflecting on the season so far, Hinshelwood said: “I think you’d have definitely taken where we are at the start of the season.
“Our season was absolutely on fire up until half-time against Bedford when we had a player (Joel Colbran) sent off after we’d already lost two key players to injury.
“I’ve never known a moment in a game to impact a season so much.
“We were comfortable in that game until Joel’s red card at Bedford and our season just seems to have spiralled since then, in terms of performance and things.
“We’re not happy with how we’ve performed lately, so no matter who the opposition were on Saturday, we would be looking to put on a bit of a display.”
Worthing’s league match at Whitehawk on Tuesday was postponed an hour before kick-off owing to a waterlogged pitch.
Saturday’s match with Bognor kicks off at 3pm, before Worthing’s Boxing Day match away to Burgess Hill, also a 3pm start.
Defender Will Miles is set to miss three weeks with a hamstring injury but Worthing hope defender Aarran Racine will be back available at the beginning of January.
Goalkeeper Lucas Covolan is continuing his rehab after a broken arm and defender Alfie Young is seeing a specialist in his bid to return to action.
HAVE YOU READ?