IF TRURO City are to have any hope of staying in Blue Square Bet South they have got to start picking up points quickly.
Saturday's controversial 4-3 defeat at Welling United (see page 100) has left City on just nine points from the first half of the season, after being deducted ten points when the club went into administration.
There are still 21 games to go, starting with a home match on Saturday (3pm) against third from bottom Billericay Town, whose 5-0 hammering at fellow strugglers Eastleigh on Tuesday evening was their sixth in their last seven league games.
In all probability, City will need at least 40 points to have any chance of not being one of the three teams to be relegated, subject of course to the myriad issues which can come into play when the make-up of the various leagues is decided at the end of the season.
And manager Lee Hodges thinks his side, who have won just five games all season, might even need a few more points than 40.
That means they will need 30 plus points out of a possible 63, a tall order, though not yet impossible, even though they are still 16 points from safety, but it is very tight at the bottom. However, with a trip to leaders Salisbury City to come on Tuesday evening, the Tigers desperately need three points against the Essex visitors, who beat them 2-1 on the opening day of the season.
And Hodges knows his side will have to put the disappointment and frustration at the manner of the defeat at Welling behind them after his hotly-disputed red card turned the game in the home side's favour.
Hodges is now banned for the game at Sutton Utd on Saturday week, but will be able to take his normal place in the dugout
He said: "The defeat was tough to take, but we have got to move on. There were a lot of positives to take from the game but we have got to start taking some points to give ourselves a chance.
"If we produce the same type of display as we did at Welling then we can win the game, but like every match in this league it will not be easy."
Hodges expects to rely on the squad that travelled to Welling, but was unsure about the availability of defender Steve Adams, who has yet to play on his return to the club. Marcus Martin though will be suspended for the trip to Salisbury after being sent off at Dorchester Town on New Year's Day.
City squad v Billericay Town (probable): McCormick, Hall, Ash, Hodges, Williams, Cooke, Martin, Broad, Afful, Watkins, Moore, Watts, Hayles, Hopkinson and Adams.
City match reports and news see Page 100.