GREAT Wakering Rovers interim player-manager Steve Butterworth believes tomorrow’s Isthmian North clash with Soham Town Rangers could define his side’s season.

Wakering and Soham are currently nine points clear of the bottom two with just eight fixtures still to play.

And Butterworth is keen to claim all three points at Burroughs Park to give Wakering even more breathing space.

“I don’t think that we’re in a relegation battle but that could all change after this weekend’s game,” said Butterworth.

“If we beat Soham that could put us 12 points clear of the bottom two and personally I can’t see either of them catching us from that position.

“But a defeat would mean that we are in a relegation dogfight.

“We would be looking over our shoulders and wondering if we could be dragged into the relegation zone.

“With that in mind I think this is a season defining game.

“At this stage of the season you want to be playing the teams that are in mid-table because they are not playing for anything.

“Instead we are playing a lot of the teams fighting for their lives or the play-offs so we have a difficult run-in.

“Hopefully we will be able to get the three points this weekend because then there will be less pressure on the boys for the last seven games of the season.

“Then we can play with freedom and it’s about them making an impression ahead of next season.

“If they do well it could result in me being made the permanent manager.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Butterworth has strengthened his squad.

Martin Tuohy has made the move from Canvey Island, while midfielder Marcus Milner has joined from high-flying Aveley.

And Butterworth is pleased to have welcomed the duo to Burroughs Park.

“I have been working on making some new signings for a couple of weeks because of the injuries and suspensions we have had, so I’m really pleased to have brought Martin and Marcus to the club,” added Butterworth.

“Martin is one of my closest friends and he didn’t want to leave Canvey with just eight games to go.

“But I managed to persuade him to join us and I know he wants to eventually go into coaching so I have told him that I will give him a coaching role next season if I am still in charge.

“Marcus is great on the ball and the two signings give us strength in depth.”