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Published: 12:06, 17 April 2019
| Updated: 12:08, 17 April 2019
Sittingbourne manager Chris Lynch has called on his players to show what they're made of in the last three games of the season.
Brickies' top-10 ambitions in Bostik South East have gone up in smoke after five straight defeats but Lynch wants to finish the campaign with a flourish.
They host third-placed Hastings on Saturday and visit Herne Bay on Easter Monday before finishing at home to Guernsey.
Lynch, whose side still need one more point to guarantee safety, said: "It's down to these players to show everyone they have the desire to go and perform for the club over these next three games.
"This is where we find out who's got the character, who wants to be here next year and who wants to achieve something in football.
"None of my players are the type to roll over and accept defeat but they need to grow and learn from their mistakes and that's what I want to see from them.
"There's key figures in that dressing room who I know will give 100% and it's down to the remainder to say, 'do you know what, we're in this together,' and to show the mental strength we need in these last three games.
"It's such a young squad, with no one above 23, and we don't have that experienced leader in the squad, that 28 or 29-year-old ex-Conference player to galvanise the team.
"We're expecting these young lads to step up but it will be good experience for them.
"Those that do stay, or those I want to stay, have got the potential to progress.
"Coming through a difficult spell like this and knowing the poorer side of the game, it will stand them in good stead in the years that follow.
"They'll know what to expect in a bad run and will be be better prepared to deal with it."
Lynch led Sittingbourne to six wins in seven games before the dip in form.
It's been a frustrating spell for the manager who can't wait to get his teeth into pre-season.
He said: "This run doesn't affect my confidence and what I believe we can achieve but it does affect my mood.
"It's so frustrating because, even with players missing, we still have a good enough team.
"It frustrates me that I've not had them for a whole season or my own pre-season, which is where you work on all your set plays and your roles and responsibilties.
"It's difficult coming in midway through a season, having to renew the team and trying to get them to gel. You want your own pre-season."
Loanees Roman Campbell and Jack Morrell were recalled by Gillingham last weekend but should be back with Sittingbourne for the Easter matches.