HENLEY HAWKS head coach Nigel Dudding believes his men could be just one performance from turning their season around after a disastrous run that has left them hovering just above the relegation zone.
The Hawks, with a mounting injury list, have lost eight of their last nine games but Dudding has absolutely no intention of hoisting the white flag just yet.
“Our results have been far from perfect over the last few weeks while we have been waiting to be back at full strength,” he said.
“It is no secret that we are not where we would like to be and we certainly did not envisage that it would have turned out like this when the season started.
“We have lost some bankers, games that we really should have got a result from, at home and that has left us chasing the game a little.
“The weather has also been far from ideal, but the real problem is that we have not been turning in the performances on the field that we should have been.”
The Hawks, now fourth from bottom, just two points above the drop zone with three teams to go down, have a growing casualty list, including prop Alex Penny who has been sidelined by an abductor injury which also forced him to stand down from the England Counties match against the French Federal side earlier this month.
But Dudding expects key players, including Penny to return shortly, and said he was convinced the club can beat relegation having only stepped up to National Division this season. “We definitely can do it but it is going to take an almighty effort between now and the end of the season,“ he said.
“We have some crucial games coming up and we need to start performing now.
“If we can win all our home games and pick up some points away from home then we should stay up.
“The task now is far harder than it was a couple of months ago but there is a lot of spirit and determination to do well at the club.”
The Hawks’ game against Blaydon fell victim to the weather last weekend and they have another break this week before returning to action away to the St Albans-based Old Albanians, who are currently mid-table.
Dudding added: “Every game is going to be a big one for us from now on in.
“Part of our problem is that we have not performed when other teams around us have and we have lost ground on them.
“We have to turn our form now and it might be that all it takes is one good performance to spark a revival.
“It is not going to be easy but with the spirit we have at the club I am sure we have got what it takes to stay up and then push on next season.”