Defender Nick Burton today admitted: "I'm playing for my Crawley future".

Burton is one of nine players whose contract expires in the summer going into tomorrow's final Conference game of the season at Northwich Victoria.

The 29-year-old admits he has suffered a "frustrating" time since his arrival from Farnborough in March, which has coincided with a dramatic slump in form for Reds.

He made his debut in a 2-1 defeat against Halifax,when Crawley were knocked off second spot.

They have since won once in nine league games and are now 12th.

Burton has only played five of those games due to injuries and admits time is running out to show manager Francis Vines he is worth a new deal.

Vines will wait to decide who he keeps on for next season after the Sussex Senior Cup final on May 2.

Burton said: "For the players who are out of contract, like myself, the Northwich game is very important because we have to prove that we are worthy of a contract.

"We have to show the manager that he is right to pick us and that we are worth keeping in the team for next season.

"Since I arrived, things have not really turned out the way I wanted and I'm pretty hacked off about it.

"It has been extremely frustrating for me but I have enjoyed the games I have played in. I feel I have made a good account of myself and there is definitely more to come from me.

"I want to start afresh next season because we are not a million miles from being a good team and I want be part of it.

"I have seen in training what the players can do and I think we can all improve on what we have done this season."

Burton insists Crawley still have a lot to play for against Northwich because a win will guarantee their qualification for the LDV Vans Trophy.

The team that finishes 12th clinches a place in next season's competition which is made up of teams from League One, Two and the Conference.

Reds cannot improve on their league place but can be caught by Scarborough, who are one point behind.

Burton said: "There is the LDV Vans place and of course personal pride to play for, so there is still plenty at stake.

"We are all desperate to win because we have had a disappointing run. A lot has been down to bad luck but we cannot make too many excuses. We need to do the business on the pitch and the Northwich game gives us a good chance to put things right."

Northwich have suffered consecutive defeats against Aldershot and Burton Albion since they completed a great escape from relegation.

They were deducted ten points earlier this season after going into administration and were in the bottom three for most of the campaign until four straight wins in 11 days earlier this month secured safety.

They are groundsharing at Wincham Park with neighbours Witton Albion while their new Victoria Stadium is built.

Former Vics defender Sean Hankin returns to the Crawley squad after a two-match ban. Hankin had a two-month spell at Northwich before joining Reds in December 2003.