Steve Watt believes Hythe can still challenge for the play-offs – providing he can get his best side out sooner rather than later.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat away to unbeaten Hastings stretched Town’s winless run in Isthmian South East to three games, but the division is so close they remain within two wins of the top five.
Boss Watt firmly believes his side are capable of climbing the table but knows he needs to get some of his injured players back.
Alex Brown, Charlie Webster, Stephen Okoh and Frannie Collin are all sidelined while Alex Flisher’s groin problem means he has only been used from the bench recently.
Watt explained: “I was saying to Chris Agutter (the Hastings manager) on Saturday that the only time I’ve had my strongest XI out was the Haywards Heath game at home which we won comfortably 2-0.
“The boys out are all players you’d expect to be starting and any side would miss them.
“With the exception of Sittingbourne away (where they lost 1-0) our performances have been better than results suggest.
“I was left scratching my head after we lost at Hastings because we played really well.
“I think, though, we’ll turn the corner. We’re only six points off the play-offs and that shows you how tight this division is.
“You only have to look at Herne Bay, four games ago we beat them 2-0 (September 21) and they were below us in the table.
“Now they are in the play-off positions (in fifth). That’s what can happen if you string a few wins together and we’re a side who, when we have everyone available, are capable of doing that.”
Watt says that until his injury crisis is over he will persevere with youngsters rather than look to bring anyone else in.
He also revealed he may persist with the 3-5-2 formation he employed against Hastings when Cannons host Whyteleafe on Saturday.
Watt explained: “I like to tweak shapes and personnel depending on the opposition and after the FA Trophy game against Hastings (which Hythe lost 2-1) I decided to go with 3-5-2.
“It worked because we created a lot more chances and looked much more of a threat.
“The two up front, Kiernan Hughes-Mason and Tom Walmsley, caused them a lot of problems.”
Watt revealed Brown has taken part in the warm-up for the past two games and the midfielder came on as an 82nd minute substitute in Tuesday's 2-1 Velocity Trophy win at Herne Bay.
Okoh marked his return with both goals before giving way to Brown, while Collin’s calf problem means it could be another two weeks before he returns.
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