Be prepared for a scrap but play your own game - that will be the message Craig Liddle gives to us his players ahead of today's game at Alfreton.

The match sees two of the division's out-of-form teams meet at the Impact Arena and neither can afford to lose as the season enters the final third.

With 16 matches to go, Quakers are in 19th position, having slipped down the table thanks to a combination of a ten-point deduction and a poor run of form.

Tuesday's 2-0 loss at Southport was Quakers' seventh game without a win and means they could drop into the relegation zone with a defeat against a team whose form is similarly poor, having won only one of their last five.

Liddle is expecting the same sort of physical challenge that Southport posed. Darlington lost in midweek and Liddle had Alfreton watched in their FA Trophy defeat at Gateshead.

He said: "We need to be prepared for a scrap and a fight, which is what Alfreton are all about.

"But if we stick to our game then I'm confident we'll get something. Our strengths are passing and moving the ball quickly, but in the second half on Tuesday we didn't do that. We got embroiled in what Southport were doing and going from back to front quickly, but we haven't got the players to do that.

"We've got to stick to our beliefs in trying to out-pass and out-play teams instead of getting into physical battles and trying to match teams that way.

"It's a huge game. We're only out of the bottom four on goal difference now, so we need to get some kind of result.

"It will be one of the biggest games we've been involved in because we can't afford to lose. As long as we get something from the game, that would keep them below us."

Tony Lee, the former Bishop Auckland and Gateshead manager, was Quakers' scout at the International Stadium.

Liddle added: "I've got a DVD and Graeme Lee's dad went to watch them on Tuesday so we've got a report, both of which we don't normally get. I spoke to Paul Bryson at Gateshead.

"By all accounts they are similar to Southport in that they are a big, strong and aggressive side who throws balls into the box from either side so we'll have to improve on Tuesday night.

"What I've got to drum into the players is that we've got to go to places like Southport and put in a better performance than we did in the second half.

"Alfreton will throw everything at us and if we're not man enough and brave enough to stand up in both boxes then we're going to have a difficult 90 minutes."

Liddle's scope for changing his line-up is limited. However, he has hinted at resting play-maker Dale Hopson.

The arrival of Clark Keltie, who played on Tuesday, means that Marc Bridge-Wilkinson could be pushed further forward if Rob Ramshaw is recalled.

Ramshaw made his full debut in the last home game, against York, but he returned to the bench on Tuesday to accommodate Keltie.

Liddle said: "Rob had a fantastic debut, but I wanted a bit more experience in there. I might even stick him back in and rest one of the other young kids.

"People like Dale Hopson, who is a fantastic talent, need a breather and all being well he'll get one on Saturday.

"I tried to take Dale out of the team for the Hayes & Yeading match.

"But he got a recall when Graeme got injured in the warm-up and he's stayed in the side since because we've had nobody else.

"Now I've got Clark here I can shuffle my pack a little bit."

Paul Arnison will return at right-back after overcoming a calf strain, which means Liam Bagnall must return to Sunderland as per Football Conference rules regarding the registration of players when a club is in administration.

Today's game is due to be the last of Jordan Pickford's loan spell from Sunderland, but Liddle is optimistic about extending the goalkeeper's stay.

"Jordan's loan is up at the weekend, but I'll be working on that," said Liddle.

"I've had discussions with Mark Prudhoe, their academy goalkeeping coach, and they are more than happy with him here and how he's progressing."