Dean Thomas has backed his Kettering Town players to flourish in the pressure cooker at Latimer Park today (Monday).
The Poppies take on Northamptonshire rivals and Calor League Division One Central leaders Daventry Town (3pm) knowing a victory could see them secure a play-off place if other results go in their favour.
But it’s also a massive day for Daventry who could claim the title if they win at Latimer Park and Dunstable Town and Rugby Town both lose.
Kettering go into the clash on the back of seven successive victories, the latest of which was a 3-0 verdict at Aylesbury United on Saturday which moved them up to fourth in the table.
The Poppies claimed a 3-0 success at Daventry earlier in the season and Thomas expects his players to keep their cool during what could be an explosive afternoon.
He said: “Both teams are under a great deal pressure.
“They could win the title and we want to stay on course for a play-off place.
“I think Daventry will win the league regardless of what happens today because I don’t see them slipping up in the last two matches.
“We just have to make sure we make it as hard as possible for them.
“It is a high-pressure match and it is important we play with our heads and not our hearts.
“We have come a long way and we don’t want to undo all the good work we have done. We are just looking for three more points and we will let everything else take care of itself.”
The highest crowd of the season is expected to witness this afternoon’s game and Thomas knows the Poppies fans could also play a key role in the final outcome.
“I am sure it will be the highest attendance that this league sees this season,” the Poppies boss added.
“I don’t think anyone thought we would be in this position nine months ago.
“We have given the fans plenty to shout about during that time and hopefully they will drive us on to another important result.”
Josh Moreman to set to return to the squad today after he missed the win at Aylesbury with a knee problem but Dan Crowie is still struggling with a hamstring injury.
Visit this website later for a match report and reaction from this afternoon’s clash between the Poppies and Daventry