Leamington manager Paul Holleran says their impressive points against York City and Harrogate Town will count for nothing if they cannot beat North Ferriby tomorrow.
A Rob Thompson-Brown penalty earned Brakes a 2-2 draw at the National League North leaders on Saturday to follow up their comeback draw against the Minstermen the week before.
And, after facing the three sides that he predicts will make up the top three come the end of April, Holleran does not want his team to take their foot off the gas when they entertain the league’s bottom club.
“We got it the last home game. On the back of the Salford performance we were miles off it against York,” said Holleran.
“Hopefully, we have got it out of our system. We can’t let our standards drop.
“It’s a massive game for us.
“Three points would back up the last couple of draws.
“All of a sudden we’d be looking up and not looking over our shoulders.”
Saturday’s point extended Brakes’ unbeaten run in the league to six games and as they emerge from a tricky run of fixtures, Holleran said the display at Harrogate was the one that gave him the most satisfaction.
“It was our best performance for a long time in this division,” he said.
“We weren’t clinging on. We had a lot of pressure and we were on the front foot. We were clever and used the ball well.
“We came away half-disappointed. We had two or three opportunities in the last 15 minutes, like they did, to get a third goal.
“Salford, we came away thinking it was a smash and grab as it was backs to the wall at stages and York we were well beaten but on Saturday we were in the game for long periods.
“It was definitely our best performance against the sides I expect to be in the top three come the end of the season.”
Following on from their relegation from the National League Premier, North Ferriby have struggled to adjust to the National League North and have recorded just one win from their opening 14 fixtures.
A 2-0 defeat at home to AFC Telford last time out left them nine points adrift of safety but Holleran is wary of under-estimating the Villagers.
“Saturday will be a different type of game. We will need to be on the front foot and break down their resilience and find some answers.
“They might be bottom but they’ve still got some decent players and some decent young players on loan.
“They’re capable of stringing some wins together like we are.
“This division can spank you on the bum no matter who you are playing.”
Connor Gudger is expected to be pressing for a start after being carried off in the closing stages of Saturday’s draw following a blow to the head.
“He was a bit groggy on Saturday night and had a bit of a relapse on Sunday - he had a few days off work,” said Holleran, who expected Gudger to take part in light training on Thursday evening.
“It was quite a high foot,” he added. “Really brave defending.”
n Tomorrow’s visit of North Ferriby will be a ‘Pay What You Want’ fixture, with any payment guaranteeing entry to the ground.
Donations of at least £5 will be entered into a draw to win one of a selection of matchday prizes.
Chairman Jim Scott said the scheme was a great way to attract a new audience.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity for our regular supporters to bring along a friend who may not have visited Leamington FC before,” said Scott.
“We’re on an unbeaten six-match run in the league with some excellent results recently against much higher opposition, so let’s all get behind the team, boost the crowd and create a cracking atmosphere!”