Wellingborough Town and Desborough Town go into tomorrow’s (Saturday) derby at the Dog & Duck looking to haul themselves away from the bottom of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division.
The Doughboys’ 3-0 home defeat to Harborough Town last week leaves them just three points clear of the bottom two.
Desborough, meanwhile, are currently 17th in the table and fear being dragged into a relegation scrap.
Stuart Goosey, Wellingborough’s assistant-manager, said: “I’m confident we will stay up, but we can make it a lot easier for ourselves.
“We were absolutely awful last week against Harborough. We thought we were making progress.
“The players had been showing a real fighting spirit, but there was none of that against Harborough.”
Better than anyone, Goosey knows his players will have to show their fighting spirit on Saturday.
“I’ve played in a lot of Wellingborough-Desborough matches,” he said.
“And I have the lumps and bruises to prove it.
“These are the games that neither team wants to lose and we know we’re going to have to work very hard.”
The Doughboys could hand Will Miziumbiri his first start against Desborough.
The ex-Kettering striker came on as a second-half substitute against Harborough last week and Goosey said: “Will looked promising. You could see the quality is there.
“He just has to figure out how everyone around him plays.”
Ar Tarn boss Chris Bradshaw expects to be at full strength and hopes his players will repay his confidence in them.
“Wellingborough are struggling at the moment,” he said.
“But we are down there as well.
“I can keep saying we are a good team, but we have to start picking up points and climbing the table.
“To do that, we need to be beating teams like Wellingborough, Rothwell Corinthians and Sileby Rangers.
“They are the next three games. This is a big spell for us.”
Rothwell Corinthians boss Shaun Sparrow says his players are “chomping at the bit” to return to action tomorrow.
Of Corinthians’ last eight fixtures, six have been postponed because of the weather.
On Saturday, they welcome sixth-placed Kirby Muxloe to Sergeants Lawn in the UCL Premier Division.
And Sparrow said: “We want to get out there and start playing matches again.
“We are a football team and that’s what we do. At least, that’s what we’re supposed to do!
“The players are all chomping at the bit. They are all well rested, fresh and raring to go.
“We don’t care that Kirby are above us in the table. We won’t be hoping for a draw.
“We want to come back with a bang and get three points.”
Sparrow has shrugged off the disruption the weather has brought to his side’s season.
He said: “It’s a bit annoying because you can lose your rhythm when you don’t play regularly, but it’s not a big thing.
“It happens every year. Last season we ended up having busy spells with re-arranged games and we coped well enough.”