Ben Strevens has praised Whitehawk’s “unsung hero” alongside him as the duo plot an FA Trophy re-run.

Alan Payne will be in charge from the dugout as Hawks tackle Weymouth today.

The pair have taken interim charge since the surprise departure of Richard Hill almost a fortnight ago.

There is no indication as to how long they will remain at the helm with the club happy to take their time over a more permanent appointment.

Hawks president Chris Gargan gave Payne the “unsung hero” tag, praising the work he did alongside Pablo Asensio, Hill and now Strevens.

The current incumbents remain unbeaten, despite a worrying flood of goals against them.

Strevens sat out the midweek Senior Cup win at Burgess Hill so he could study the team from the touchline.

But he will be in midfield tomorrow leaving Payne to direct things.

Strevens said: “With me still playing it has been difficult to do everything.

“I take training sessions, although we have only been able to train twice since Rich left.

“But at matches it is passed across to Alan.

“We got to help each other when I didn’t play on Tuesday and I saw a different side of it.

“But he has been invaluable. He is funny and the boys like him. He is also very knowledgeable.

“He has made it a lot easier for me in what has been a trying time.”

Strevens admits he has no idea what the future holds in terms of the manager’s position.

Hawks were happy to bide their time and allow Asensio a lengthy period as caretaker last season, with Payne alongside him, as they secured a play-off spot.

Strevens said: “They haven’t spoken much to me about it.

“A lot will depend on performances but they are taking their time.”

Glen Southam is banned following his sending-off against Gosport last week.

A 4-4 draw in that game, followed by the 3-2 extra-time success at Burgess Hill, underlined where Hawks will look to improve.

Strevens said: “We are happy with things going forward but not so pleased defensively.

“That is as a team, not just the back four.

“We have conceded six goals in two games and that’s a collective failing.

“All of us have got to work a bit harder off the ball.

“We’ve got quality players with the football but the main thing is to work without the ball.

“We’ve got a fully fit squad but Glen is gutted to be missing the game.

“I thought it was a bit of a harsh sending-off.”