Crawley boss John Hollins is today bracing himself for the departure of one of his first team regulars.

Hollins refused to name the player but confirmed that he has featured in every game so far this season.

Hollins is waiting to see if the player turns up today when Reds travel to Southport for tomorrow's Conference game.

Most of Crawley's players, together with Hollins, have not yet agreed contracts following the club's off-field problems and can walk out at any time.

Hollins said: "I might be about to lose a player, we will have to wait and see. I can't say who it is but he is someone who has been in the 14 since the start of the season.

"I have spoken to his agent and now it is down to him. This is the problem we face, unfortunately, and we have to get on with it."

Any departure would be a massive blow to Hollins' threadbare squad. Reds have fielded virtually the same starting 11 in each of the first eight games and have been one of the surprise packages in the Conference so far.

They have picked up 13 points, an impressive total compared to the same stage last season under Francis Vines when they took just five.

The only change has seen loan midfielder Dannie Bulman come in for Gary Mills in the last two games.

But beyond the starting line-up, Hollins does not have strength in depth and admits it could become a problem.

The bench for Tuesday's defeat at Dagenham included only one player, Mills, with significant experience of Conference football.

Defender Pat Sappleton has mostly plied his trade in lower divisions, loan Reading striker Scott Rendell had spells at Forest Green and Aldershot but at 19 is still a rookie, while Scott Marshall and goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey are seen as mainly reserve players.

Hollins said: "If we lose players we can't bring in any new ones because of the transfer window. If one goes that would leave us with 13 which is not a lot.

"It is very hard when you have such a small squad. It is not about tiredness because I don't like that as an excuse, it is about picking up knocks and suspensions.

"When we played Exeter on the Monday after the Saturday game they rested three players and were just as strong. We had to play the same side because we didn't have any options.

"If we get a few injuries we would be in trouble so we have not been able to train players very hard just in case."

Hollins believes his side are becoming victims of their own success following their good start.

They are favourites to beat a Southport side with one win in seven so far.

Hollins said: "People think because we have won a few games that it is going to be easy. We have to work very hard to squeeze everything we can out of the players and at the moment they are giving everything."