Gary Mills believes his Corby Town players are now used to the pressure of big games as they gear up for a crucial week in the fight for survival.
The Steelmen moved out of the relegation zone in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division after they scored five second-half goals to thrash fellow strugglers Sutton Coldfield Town 5-1 at Steel Park last weekend.
But they are only out of the drop-zone on goal difference with eight games to go, the next of which is at mid-table Barwell on Saturday.
That is followed by two huge clashes with Marine, who are just a point above the Steelmen. Corby make the trip north next Tuesday night before Marine head to Steel Park next weekend.
It looks set to be a dramatic final month of the season as Corby bid to complete their great escape having been 12 points adrift of safety after they were beaten 4-0 at Grantham Town on Boxing Day.
And boss Mills feels his squad have shown they can handle the pressure.
“Every game since I have taken over has been big,” the Corby manager said.
“So we are used to it, we are used to playing under that pressure.
“We have got experienced lads in there, players who have been at a decent level and who have played in relegation battles so hopefully that stands us in good stead.
“It’s a big few weeks for the football club and as long as the boy remain focused, I am sure we will give it a real good go.”
Mills was at Latimer Park on Tuesday night to watch Kettering Town beat Brackley Town 1-0 in the semi-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup.
That result means the Poppies will now face the Steelmen in the final at Northampton Town’s Sixfields home on Tuesday, April 11.
And Mills, a former Kettering player, added: “It’s a cup final and it will be a night for the fans to look forward to.
“It certainly makes it interesting having the local derby element to it by playing Kettering so it should be a good occasion.”