Darren Freeman has told his Whitehawk players it is payback time.

Hawks take a 2-0 deficit into the second leg of their FA Vase semi-final away to Wroxham today.

The County League leaders were hugely disappointing in the first leg last Sunday and their Wembley dream looks to be all but over.

Joint-boss Freeman is adamant they can still turn around the tie but knows they have to play a lot better than six days ago.

He included himself in criticism of the players on show last week and insists they owe the people of Whitehawk a decent performance.

A number of people, including vice chairmen Peter McDonnell and John Summers, have funded Hawks’ ambitious dream of a league and Vase double this year while other volunteers have given countless hours to the club rather than money.

Freeman said: “We have to wear our hearts on our sleeves, get the ball down and play. We didn’t do that last Sunday. We have got to remember what Ned (McDonnell) and the committee have done for us as players and as a team. It is payback time.

“I saw what sort of work went on to get the game on last Sunday. There were people slogging their guts out for four days solid. It is payback time and only the players can do that.

“Anyone who played, including myself, we could all be dropped. I said after the game there was no one who could come off the park, look me and George (Parris) in the eye and say ‘we gave it our best’.

“No one goes out to have a bad game. If you are having a bad game it is about what else you can bring to the table. Eleven of us had a bad game and didn’t bring anything else to the table.”

Whitehawk have won five times away from home during this FA Vase run.

Their performances away to Marske United in a fifth round replay and Gresley in the quarter-final were particularly impressive, which is why no one in the Whitehawk camp thinks the tie is dead.

Far from it. Freeman insists they can play better and believes they can draw inspiration from Arsenal’s comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.

He said: “We let ourselves down. That is the worst we have played this season but I still feel definitely 110% we can do it.

“If you look at some of our results in the Vase, we scored three away to Marske, three away to Gresley and they were a better side than Wroxham.

“We need to turn up on the day which we didn’t do last week. Maybe the occasion got to a few of the lads but that is the first time they have let themselves down this season.

“Look at Arsenal on Wednesday evening, they were 2-0 down to Barcelona, one of the best sides in the world. They managed to get their heads right within the 45 minutes and they turned it round.

“We have had the best part of a week to go away, get our heads right and regroup. We need to remember it is just half-time. We need to remember how good we can be and do the things we are good at.

“We believe we have the best squad in our division and the next division up. I have faith in the players and they have to have faith in themselves.”

Freeman is eligible for the game despite being sent off in stoppage time last Sunday as his ban does not come into effect until 21 days after the offence.

Josh Jones is available again after a hamstring injury.

Wroxham are certainly taking nothing for granted. They had a Ridgeons Eastern Counties League game with Norwich United on Wednesday and did not field a single player who started against Whitehawk last week.

Whitehawk (from): Anderson, Lovett, Holmes, Head, Harris, Fisk, Budd, Kirkwood, Davis, Tate, Freeman, Crabb, Jones, Whiteman, Hughes, Townsend, Taylor.