Matt Easton accepts that Spalding United are in a relegation dogfight in Evo-Stik NPL Division One East – but feels they’ve got more than enough quality to escape the drop.
The Tulips suffered successive festive defeats against Cleethorpes Town (2-1), Brighouse Town (3-1) and Wisbech Town (2-1) ahead of not playing last weekend – and have slipped back into the bottom three as a result.
This Saturday sees Spalding on the road at play-off chasing Sheffield FC (3pm), who have only lost twice at home all season.
Easton, who almost has a fully-fit squad to pick from, feels that his Tulips are one of six or seven sides that will be looking over their shoulder at the one relegation slot this season.
“We have to accept that we’re in a relegation scrap,” said the Tulips chief. “There are plenty of sides battling – as many as six or seven – to stay in this league.
“You can either keep on battling to the very end or throw your toys out of the pram – and I’ll certainly not do the latter.
“Nobody here is giving up, we’ll keep on fighting and certainly have the quality to get ourselves out of trouble.
“Let’s put the defeats into context; Cleethorpes are one of the league’s in-form teams, Brighouse are second and Wisbech was a derby. You can always lose those games.
“We’ll go to Sheffield knowing that it’s another difficult fixture for us.
“They’ve got two really good strikers and are very difficult to beat at home.
“But we’ve got a strong squad and all we can do is go there and fight.”
Easton’s only absentee for the trip to Yorkshire is wideman Jenk Acar, who also missed the defeat against Wisbech.
The boss hasn’t ruled out adding to his squad, but feels the current crop are up to the task of securing Spalding’s Step Four status.
He added: “The group is strong and there’s a good togetherness. I’m very happy with my options.
“Obviously, I’d be stupid to turn down any good players that become available and I’m open to maybe adding one more, but we’ll see.”
Should results go against the Tulips on Saturday, they could end up bottom of the table come 5pm. But victory could feasibly see them climb into the relative safety of 14th place.
Sheffield picked up seven points from their four festive fixtures.