Blue Square Bet
Published 28th April 2012
....on Staines Town in their final game of the Blue Square Bet South season at Westleigh Park.
He rates it alongside, if not more important, than the famous FA Cup tie against Liverpool at Anfield in 2008.
A win today will guarantee the Hawks’ safety. But anything less will leave them relying on the results of Maidenhead United and Hampton & Richmond Borough, who currently occupy the remaining two relegation places.
The Hawks go into the game just one place above the drop zone but have the advantage of knowing they will be the masters of their own destiny.
“This is a huge game and one we need to win,” said caretaker-manager Johnson. “It is easily the most important game our current players will have been involved in and arguably the biggest game for everyone here.
“We are desperate to stay at this level and the players need to take responsibility. They will be made aware of the magnitude of the situation.
“It is all about their desire and how much they want it.
“They will need to be big and strong.
“If they come off the field with anything left in the tank then they will have let everybody down.
“Our fate is in our own hands and we must do the business.”
The Hawks have suffered from inconsistency all season and that eventually led to the removal of manager Shaun Gale at the end of last month.
Johnson and his assistant Adie Aymes agreed to take the reins and the task of avoiding relegation for the past six games.
It looked as though that would be achieved when they started with wins against Truro and Salisbury but, since then, three consecutive defeats have left the Hawks on the brink.
The defeat at Farnborough last weekend came after an “unacceptable” performance and Johnson admits a big improvement is needed against a Staines side who are assured of safety.
“We never got going at Farnborough and we were on the back foot from the start,” said Johnson.
“Panic set in and we can’t afford to let that happen again.
“We have to do better and a good start to the game will be so important.
“Staines won’t be coming to make life easy for us. It is up to us to win the personal battles, remain composed and see the job through.
“I am convinced we can get the win and stay up.”