Mansfield Town head to relegation-haunted Newport County with manager Adam Murray urging his sixth-placed Mansfield Town side to win, win, win.
The Stags are in the middle of a run of three games against bottom five clubs, having beaten Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2 last weekend and head for South Wales knowing draws are no good to them in a tight table with just 13 games left.
Click HERE to read our Newport v Stags Big Match Preview
“It’s do or die time now with 13 games to go and we need wins, wins, wins,” said Murray.
“It’s the back end now and this is where it matters. We’re not expected to be up there, we know that. But we are up there on merit as we are a good team.
“So we don’t want to let it slip away now. If we can prove everyone wrong right to the end then let’s do it.
“It’s important we stay focused and ruthless with that. There will be a lot of ‘shaky Jakes’ going on around us now. There were some big results on Saturday like Accrington going to Oxford and beating them. And there will be even more twists and turns.
“I am over the moon we haven’t got games in hand as that’s more pressure. You have to win when teams above you have got points. If these teams don’t win we’ll stay ahead of them.
“We have to keep doing our business and just focus on that. Away from us teams have got to play Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday/Tuesday now which with little squads is going to be tough.
“The pressure is on everyone else at the minute. We’re just enjoying being in there, enjoying our football and picking results up. It’s now up to everyone else to put points on the board.
“We will do our job and watch what happens around us.
“We are playing with a lot of freedom. In this position you enjoy proving people wrong. We need to enjoy the environment we’re in at the minute. We are sixth in the table with 13 games to go.
“For this club with how quickly it’s happened, it’s dream world.
“I’ve told them enjoy it and give it everything you’ve got. If it doesn’t work out so be it. If we sit back and go we messed it up because we were anxious or nervous then it’s a crime.
“If we go out there, play our game with energy and enthusiasm, we will stay up there. I am confident in that. These are good moments.
“This time last year it was horrendous and we all wanted to cry every day. “So let’s enjoy coming to work, let’s enjoy playing football, let’s enjoy playing for Mansfield Town as the club is in a great position.”
Stags have some difficult games coming up against promotion rivals after this run of games against strugglers.
They certainly made hard work of finishing off bottom club Dagenham last weekend after Krystian Pearce was sent off near the end of a thriller.
“Our first half bad wasn’t as bad as I first thought,” said Murray after watching the game back on DVD.
“There was just a lack of an end product really. We put some great balls into the box in that first half and just didn’t get enough bodies in there or the timing of our runs wasn’t right.
“They started how we knew they would start – they are fighting for their lives – and it was a scrappy first half.
“We sorted a few things at half-time and second half we were outstanding. It should have been a lot more, though when you go down to 10 men you’re always going to be holding on.
“Dagenham are in a horrible position. It’s not nice being down there, but we said to the boys beforehand that these are the games in which you’ve got to be ruthless. We don’t feel sorry for anyone.
“Unfortunately we have to tread on people’s heads at these times and the boys showed unbelievable spirit again – great togetherness to fight back. We’ve got to keep being ruthless.”
Under new boss Warren Feeney, Newport’s results have picked up recently, only losing once in five games, victories at Morecambe and at home to Carlisle followed by a fine 1-1 draw at Exeter in their past three outings.
“It will tough as they have picked up and got some decent results of late,” said Murray.
“They have some really good performances under their belt.
“It will be a tricky environment. The pitch is obviously tough down there – it won’t be a bowling green of a surface.
“But we can cope with that. We’re used to it as we train on it every day.
“It’s about winning for us now. We need to keep on the path. If we lose football matches, we can’t dwell on it.
“We move on to the next one as we need a certain amount of wins and we’re going to try to get them.”
Mansfield will be without suspended defender Krystian Pearce, whose appeal against last weekend’s red card failed, but the Stags will welcome Junior Daniel back into the squad for the first time in three seasons after he rejoined the club on loan from Port Vale this week.