Dean Thomas knows there is “nowhere to hide” for his Kettering Town side as they go for promotion glory this afternoon (Monday).
The Poppies take on Slough Town at what should be a packed house at Latimer Park in the Calor League Division One Central play-off final as they bid to join champions Dunstable Town in next season’s Premier Division.
Having edged past Daventry Town in last week’s semi-final, Thomas’ side earned home advantage for the final game of the season as they finished third in the league table while Slough, who beat Rugby Town 3-0 to earn their place, claimed fifth place during the regular campaign.
The Poppies are on the back of 10 successive victories and boss Thomas insists his players are ready for what should be could turn out to be a special day.
He said: “It is a big occasion.
“We have done really well to get to this point and now the day is here, we have to do things right.
“It’s all about how we set up and it is important we don’t underestimate our opposition.
“Slough will come here and have a real go at us. They will really fancy themselves to turn us over.
“The atmosphere is bound to be incredible and we really hope our fans can do their bit again and be our 12th man.
“I believe we can compete with anybody, we have got quality and that has put us where we are today.
“We have the ability but we have to make sure we put it all together on the day.
“There is nowhere to hide and we have to go and embrace the atmosphere and the occasion.
“We want to try to play the way we like to play but somebody is always going to be there to try to stop us from doing that. Ultimately, we have to do what we have to do to try to win the game.
“All I can really say is that the players are ready for it.
“We have talked about it and they are fully aware of what is required from them.”
Thomas is set to name the same squad that beat Daventry in the semi-final with the only absentee being defender Dan Crowie who has been struggling with a hamstring injury.
The match will be played to a finish today with extra-time and penalties being used should the scores be level after 90 minutes.
Fans are being encouraged to arrive early with the turnstiles due to open at 1.30pm.
Find live updates from this afternoon’s play-off final by following our football reporter Jon Dunham on Twitter @Jon Dunham
There will be a match report and full reaction on this website with more reaction and pictures in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph