Dean Thomas knows he will have to “play his cards right” when it comes to team selection for Kettering Town’s final-day showdown at North Greenford United.
Four teams including the Poppies could yet claim the Calor League Division One Central title tomorrow (Saturday) after a dramatic final week of the campaign.
Daventry Town’s shock 4-1 defeat at Egham Town on Wednesday night has opened the door for everyone else and Dunstable Town will be the champions if they beat Uxbridge in their final game.
But should they lose and both Rugby Town and Daventry fail to win then the Poppies could claim one of the most unlikely title successes if they are victorious in Middlesex.
The more likely scenario is that, as Thomas insists they have planned for all along, they are involved in a play-off semi-final on Tuesday night.
And with that being the most probable outcome, the Poppies boss says he must be “mindful” over what team he picks.
“We will select the best team possible for tomorrow and try to win the game,” Thomas said.
“But we have to remain mindful of the play-offs, knowing that we are likely to have a semi-final to play on Tuesday.
“It is down to me as the manager to play my cards right.
“North Greenford have got themselves safe from relegation so the pressure is off them and that will make them that little bit more dangerous.
“But if we go and play like we can then I am confident we can get the result we are looking for.”
Josh Moreman played for just over an hour of Easter Monday’s 2-0 victory over Daventry Town before being withdrawn with a sore knee that had kept him out of the 3-0 win at Aylesbury United.
James Jepson also went off against Daventry with a sore hamstring while Tommy Hull (hip) and Dan Crowie (hamstring) have both been struggling of late.
And Thomas added: “We have to be careful and we will have a good look at things before picking the team.
“Josh has had a sore knee and James has had a tight hamstring and there is no real need to rush the likes of Tommy Hull and Dan Crowie back.
“They could both be fit for Tuesday night and that will obviously make the squad look stronger than it already is.
“It is about getting the balance right. Of course we would like to win the league but we have to preserve the squad for the more likely scenario of being in the play-offs.”