SOUTHEND winger Danny Cleare wants to start a crunch run of games with a win at Canterbury in National Two South this weekend.
The fifth placed Seasiders take on three of the four teams above them before the end of January.
And Cleare hopes Southend can come out on top to strengthen their chances of success this season.
“The rest of this month is very important for us and will have a big say on where we end up this season to be honest,” said Cleare.
“We don’t want to look too far ahead but we play three of the top four in our next three games and they’re obviously going to be very important.
“If we can come through these games unscathed then the sky will be the limit for us really but Canterbury are up first and it goes without saying that it’s going to a very difficult.
“We lost there on our last visit and it’s always a very hard to place.”
Third placed Canterbury will also be fired up to come out on top after suffering a shock 18-6 defeat at Launceston last weekend.
Before then the Kent club had secured three wins in succession to move up the table but Southend had no such problems last weekend as they started 2014 with a 22-0 win against Redruth at Warners Bridge.
And Cleare now wants to build on that victory.
“The conditions were really tough last weekend and it was just a case of having to get big runners involved every time we could,” said the 26-year-old.
“To be able to give five points was very pleasing as was stopping Redruth from scoring, especially as we had lost our last three matches against them.
“We’ve been training hard since then too so we’re really looking forward to the game and having a really good crack at Canterbury.”
However, Southend have injury doubts over prop forward Michael Guess (hamstring) and full-back Alex Harrison (knee).
The duo will both have late fitness tests ahead of the game.