Although Mansfield Town look red hot favourites for the BSBP title with just six games to go, manager Paul Cox is still preparing for the race to go right down to the wire.
Stags equalled a club and Conference record of 12 straight wins with today’s 4-0 demolition of visiting Gateshead and are still only one point behind leaders Kidderminster with three games in hand.
They have to travel to face fading title rivals Wrexham on Thursday and also face the Welshmen a second time at home on the last day of the season.
With a game at struggling Barrow two days after the Wrexham game, Stags could have all but clinched the championship in the next seven days. But Cox is counting no chickens.
“We are prepared to go to the wire with this,” said Cox.
“It could go to the last game of the season and I am mentally preparing the boys for that. It won’t be easy and there will be twists and turns still.
“Whatever happens, we must adapt and overcome it. No one has won it until it’s mathematically won.
“I expect injuries or some bad luck. I want to make sure we are prepared foe every eventuality. If we expect everything, there will be no surprises.
“Without sounding arrogant, I am not looking at other clubs’ results, just concentrating on what we are doing.
“We mustn’t start getting our heads turned. Let’s enjoy today’s result and then start getting the lads’ feet back down for the next couple of tough games.
“The lads will travel to Wrexham, then the chairman has been good enough to say we can go straight up to Barrow so the lads can get some much-needed rest and recovery. So it’s a big thank you to him.”
He added: “We tried to play on the front foot today and scored a goal at the right time time as there was a bit of anxiety.
“We had to be patient. Gateshead were dogged and resolute and the lads had to work extremely hard again.
“It is nice to equal records. But I don’t like the razzmatazz. The lads deserve all the credit and the accolades coming their way.
“It’s nice to see four different scorers today. We relied heavily on Matt Green last season but we seem to be scoring from all over the park at the moment.
“I though Greg Taylor was immaculate on his home debut and the back four were absolutely tremendous.”