Wealdstone captain James Gray insists he team will be in the play-off picture at the end of the season, providing they enjoy plenty of Christmas cheer.
Stones' five-match winning run was ended by Ryman Premier pacesetters Dover Athletic last weekend, but Gray says he has seen enough to know the Grosvenor Vale outfit are genuine contenders in the play-off race.
Stones have five league games left of 2008, starting with Saturday's trip to Hastings United and ending with the December 27 derby against Harrow Borough at Ruislip Manor. And Gray believes a healthy points return over the festive period will provide Stones with a solid foundation to achieve their goal.
"I see no reason why we can't make the play-offs this season, providing we keep everyone fit," said the 30-year-old central defender. "There are no teams in this division that scare us - we've shown that with the good little run we've had.
"It is just a matter of time for us. If you look back at our results so far this season there are lots of games we lost where we've murdered teams. I believe we've dropped nine points  we should be sitting second in the table.
"If we are in the mix by Christmas, maybe two, three or four points off the play-offs, I think we will be there for the rest of the season. There is no reason why we can't be."
At the time of going to press Gordon Bartlett's team occupy ninth spot after the 2-1 defeat to the Whites, a game Gray believes Stones should have got something out of despite his dismissal for a professional foul on prolific striker Guiliano Grazioli.
"We were quite comfortable against Dover until I got sent off and they took the lead," added the Sheffield-born hardman. "He [Grazioli] clipped his own heels. I don't know if we are going to appeal against it.
"The referee said he did not think it was a penalty and that his lineman, who made the decision, had a better view. I think that is a bit cowardly really. Any 50/50 decisions went Dover's way.
"It was the second time this season I've been sent off when I've not deserved to be," continued Gray. "I got sent off at Harlow last month for a handball that never was."
His bad luck has also extended to the physicalities of non-league football. A series of niggling injuries has seen Gray unable to pin down a regular starting in the past month, but youngster Darren Locke has proved a more than able deputy.
"I think those injuries caught up with me on Saturday - I was not at my best. I've got various cuts and bruises on my head and my broken toe has not had time to heal properly - it gets strapped up before games and I take painkillers. I guess I'm getting to the age when things don't heal as quickly as they used to.
"I thought I would be dropped for the Dover game because Darren did so well for us at Horsham, where I had to play up front, as Davis [Haule] was stuck in traffic."
The builder, who lives in Harpenden, says Stones' turnaround in fortunes can be traced back to last month's 4-3 victory over Staines Town in appalling weather conditions at the Vale.
"That game was a massive turning point for us," he commented. "We were 4-0 up and they got it back to 4-3 and we had to defend for our lives. That result and performance really galvanized us."
A self-confessed 'shouter and bawler', Gray is confident he is part of a team that can make plenty of noises not only this season, but for years to come.
"I believe we have got something exciting going on down here. The potential in the side is massive, and who knows where we could go if the squad stays together. In 20 years of playing football this is the best side I've played in."