Whitehawk boss Darren Freeman has slammed the standard of football in the Conference south.

Freeman has been stunned by the physical nature of Whitehawk’s opponents in their opening four games of their debut season in the division following promotion last year.

Hawks’ only points came in their 6-2 win over Dorchester Town last Saturday but they suffered a third defeat against Dover Athletic on Monday to sit just above the relegation zone ahead of today's trip to Sutton United.

Freeman said: “It’s unbelievable. I thought teams would try to play a little bit more football but all they seem to do is smash it as far and as hard as they can.

“We are coming up against teams full of big, horrible and strong players who are all 6ft 1in.

“If it works for them I suppose that’s fine but I prefer my team to try to get the ball down and play.

“If I’m honest it might not be the best way in this division. I would fancy our chances against any footballing side in this division all day long but against the more physical teams we have struggled a little bit.

“It is something we are going to have to learn to deal with quickly and maybe we will have to adapt our style a little bit as we are not the most physical of teams usually.

“I still want to play football because that is the way I think the game should be played but it is important for any team that they can adapt during games to the challenges they face.

“I’d like to think we can adapt because we have got good players. They are the ones that have got this club to where it is and I think the world of them but if they can’t then I would have to consider getting new people in.”

Despite his concerns about Whitehawk’s ability to deal with the rough and tumble nature of Conference south Freeman has been pleased with the way his side has recovered following heavy defeats in their opening two games.

They only went down to a debatable penalty against one of the fancied sides Dover on Monday and the Hawks boss believes they will continue to improve as the season progresses.

He added: “It’s going to take us a little bit of time to get used to this division and I think that has shown in our results.

“We were poor in our first two games and got what we deserved but we played well against Dorchester and were probably even better against Dover and were very unlucky not to win.

“Things are starting to fall into place but this division is very tough."