MARK Bentley is aware Canvey Island face a tough task when they go head-to-head with a rejuvenated Heybridge Swifts side tomorrow.

Swifts got the Isthmian North campaign off to a disappointing start, but the appointment of former Canvey left-back Julian Dicks has resulted in an upturn in form.

Since being named as Jody Brown’s successor, Dicks has led Heybridge to four wins and a draw from his first five matches in charge.

And Bentley knows Canvey will need to be at their best if they are to come out on top at the Aspen Waite Arena.

The Gulls chief said: “We are expecting a tough game away from home against a side that is in good form.

“Heybridge were not where they would have wanted to be earlier in the season and they were going in the wrong direction when Julian took over.

“Julian has turned it around there and we will have to be at our best if we are to get a positive result.

“It’s up to us to go there and put in a good performance.”

Heybridge were languishing close to the Isthmian North drop zone when Dicks took over as boss at the start of last month, but they now find themselves just a point outside of the play-off places.

Canvey, meanwhile, went through a managerial change of their own last month as Bentley replaced Danny Heale in the Gulls’ hotseat.

And Dicks, who joined the Gulls in 2001 for a short stint during his playing days, is looking forward to the encounter against his former club.

Dicks said: “I played 12 games under Jeff King at Canvey Island and I loved every minute of my time there.

“I have a lot of feelings for the club, but I will put that to one side this weekend because it is another big game for us.

“We know Canvey will be tough to beat.”

Bentley is monitoring the fitness of Marlon Agyakwa for the trip, while Elliott Warren is aiming to return.