League Two survival would represent three excellent seasons for Mansfield Town believes boss Paul Cox.
Struggling Stags are currently battling to beat the drop back into non-league football after last season’s memorable Championship win.
Cox was hit hard before the season had even started when star striker Matt Green exited the club to try his luck at Birmingham City.
The club also imposed a transfer embargo on themselves following a significant cut in the budget made available from chairman John Radford.
But, despite a difficult season in charge, Cox says Football League consolidation will be a major success story and represent a big improvement for the club.
“I believe if we had a natural goalscorer we would be in a much higher position and much nearer the play-offs,” he said.
“The difference between the teams in the play-offs and ourselves is that they have put the ball away.
“We are creating chances but we need to be ruthless and kill games off.
“This season has been a massive learning curve for the players and everyone involved at the club, but if we consolidate it will represent three excellent seasons for us.
“There has been a lot said about how good or bad we are doing, that will be judged on our league position at the end of the season.”
“Three years ago there was a lot of things that needed changing and improving at the club, there are still lots of things that we need to work on but we are making progress.
“If we consolidate our position then we can take a look at things in the summer and how we are going to improve things for future seasons.”
Mansfield Town can take a major step towards safety when they face play-off chasing Newport County at home.
James Jennings and Martin Riley are both available for selection after they came through a midweek friendly unscathed.
A win, coupled with a defeat for Northampton Town, would leave Stags with a vital nine point breathing space.