Garry Wilson has turned up the pressure on Lewes boss Steven King ahead of the Boxing Day derby clash at Priory Lane.

Wilson believes the Rooks' season will be judged as a failure if they miss out on the play-offs while a top five finish would be a bonus for Eastbourne Borough.

Borough are one place behind Lewes in seventh after a nine-game unbeaten run but Wilson has played down talk of the possibility of a fourth promotion in six seasons.

Wilson is worried the step up to the Conference would be too soon for Borough but gets the feeling the Rooks are desperate to continue their climb up the non-league ladder after double promotion last season.

Wilson said: "I'm not really surprised how well Lewes have done this season because they have brought in some quality players. I think they will be up there in the play-offs at the end of the season.

"There is more pressure on them than there is on us as they are aiming to get into the play-offs this season while we just want to survive and settle down at this level.

"If promotion does come for us we would certainly take it but it is not our main priority. At the start of the season we said we just wanted to consolidate and nothing has changed.

"I do not know the background at Lewes or the financial set-up but it is a major step going into the Conference. It is not my business to comment on Lewes but I know we are not really ready for it yet."

Borough and Lewes go into the match as the Conference south's in-form teams with both boasting four wins and two draws from the last six league games.

But Wilson says the problems he was facing earlier in the season when Borough were struggling near the foot of the table highlight the contrast between the two clubs.

He said: "Lewes have got a very strong squad. That was shown when they let Marc (Whiteman) and Anthony (Storey) come here on loan when we were short of numbers.

"They were both exceptional for us and I certainly couldn't let that kind of player go out on loan. I am not jealous of what Lewes have got because we have put a squad together to achieve what we want this season while they have different targets."

King, meanwhile, responded to Wilson's claims by insisting he is under no pressure to reach the play-offs.

The Lewes manager said survival at this level was the only goal imposed on him by the club's board and pointed out that the Rooks' recent success has been achieved despite having to make notable budget cuts due to the club's financial position.

King said: "My goal at the start of the season was to stay in this league.

"As time has gone on and, with the players I have brought in, we feel as a team we can do better than that.

"As a club we are over-achieving, although I feel I have built a squad which is up there with the best in the league despite having to work on a shoestring budget.

"Look at the players I have had to cut from my squad because of the budget. Warren Haughton, Ade Bankole and Dwain Clarke have all gone in recent weeks, while Marc Cable and now Peter Adeniyi have gone out on loan. Despite that we are still in there fighting."

King believes the Boxing Day showdown should be a cracker.

He said: "On form, we are the best two teams in the league. They have done remarkably well to turn things around and I believe part of that came from when we lent them Marc Whiteman and Anthony Storey."

Storey returns to the Lewes squad following ankle injury which ruled him out of last Saturday's remarkable 5-4 win over Redbridge.

Adeniyi, meanwhile, has joined Maidenhead on a month's loan.