Corby Town will have to beat Poole Town at Steel Park tomorrow (Saturday) if they are to remain in the hunt for the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division title.
That is the stark reality spelled out by Steelmen boss Tommy Wright and he prepares for the biggest game of the season so far.
Poole’ late victory over Dunstable Town on Tuesday means they hold a three-point advantage over Corby and Redditch United going into the last round of fixtures before Christmas.
But, crucially, the leaders also have four games in hand on the Steelmen.
As far as the title is concerned, it is a case of win or bust for the Steelmen – a fact Wright was happy to acknowledge.
He believes Corby will be right in the thick of things with Poole and Weymouth, who also have a big number of games in hand, if they can get the right result this weekend.
“If we are going to win the title then the reality is we will have to win the games against Poole and Weymouth,” Wright said.
“If we don’t take points off them, I am looking around to see where they will drop more and there aren’t many options because they are both very good sides.
“I think we are in it with those two teams if we can get the victory on Saturday and there are a lot of clubs who are in the shake up for the play-offs.
“If we win on Saturday then I do believe we are in with a chance because there will still be plenty of time left.”
The Steelmen go into the big clash in decent form.
Back-to-back away wins, including a 5-0 drubbing of Banbury United, have kept them in touch with the leaders while Wright chose to rest his first-team squad in midweek as the club’s youngsters produced a fine display to win 1-0 at Royston Town and take their club into the last eight of the Red Insure Cup.
Wright will unleash a fully-fit squad on the table-toppers this weekend.
And the emphasis will be on making a fast start in a game that simply must be won if Corby are to confirm themselves as genuine title contenders.
“If we play like we did against Redditch and Banbury then we have a chance of winning but we have to start well,” the Steelmen boss added.
“Hopefully the fresh legs will play a part.
“Poole have played on Saturday and Tuesday and they have a long trip to make.
“These are all little things that could make a difference and we have to take advantage of it.
“The boys are really up for it so we have to make sure we get out of the traps and make our intentions clear from the start.”