Paul Cox will not allow his Mansfield Town players to take their feet off the gas pedal as they try to edge further towards League Two safety at Morecambe on Saturday (3pm).
Stags’ first back-to-back wins since September saw them beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0 last weekend to move up to 12th, 10 points ahead of Northampton and 14 points clear of Torquay in the relegation berths with just six games to go.
But the Stags manager wants mathematical safety achieved as soon as possible and insists his players keep their feet on the pedal to impress with most of them out of contract this summer and Cox weighing up how he can move the club forward next season.
Cox will take his side up on Friday for the long haul to Morecambe and said: “This is one of a number of big games still to come and I want us to finish as high as we can.
“Beating Wimbledon took a bit of the anxiety away though not all of it.
“It was nice to get to the 50-point mark and you could tell the whole stadium knew it was a big win.
“A lot of managers in our league will be aspiring to get to 50 points as quickly as they can.
“But if any of our players want to take their foot off the pedal, they won’t be playing. It’s as simple as that. They are getting paid to play until the end of the season and most of them are playing for contracts for next season, knowing there will be a lot of players out of work in the summer.
“I love my players, some of them have been with me for a number of years, and they are great to work with. It has been a pleasure to see them come into the Football League and develop and evolve.
“But I don’t want this club to stand still. We need to improve as a football club, and that includes me.
“I need players who can take this club forward. Players with the desire, ability, and hunger to improve us. I look at the top three and I am envious. I have the hunger to see us up there.”
“Also, supporters are still paying to come and watch us home and away and they deserve us to finish the season well.”
With 18 points still to play for, Cox knows that his side have now edged to within nine points of the play-off spots too, but said: “All we want to do is go out there and win the next game.
“Morecambe will be a tough game, though we are in a bit of form at the minute, even though we had to grind out a horrible win on Saturday.”