Tommy Wright believes Corby Town will step out at Steel Park tomorrow (Saturday) as a team that has “nothing to lose”.
The Steelmen are on the brink of relegation after just one season in the Vanarama National League North.
Last weekend’s dramatic 3-2 home defeat to Alfreton Town has left Corby eight points adrift of safety with just five games to go.
The first of those is against FC United of Manchester in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd, with a large following expected from the north-west.
It now seems to be a case of when and not if the Steelmen will be condemned to the drop, just a year after they claimed the Southern League Premier Division title with that memorable final-day win at Poole Town.
Indeed, while he insists his team will give it their best shot over the next five matches, Wright has already hinted at what might lie ahead during the summer months.
Despite an encouraging start to the season, which saw the Steelmen enjoy a six-match unbeaten run, it has been a real struggle at the wrong end of the table.
But Wright firmly believes lessons have been learned both on and off the pitch.
And if relegation is to be the ultimate fate, the manager believes Corby can come back stronger in the future.
“It was devastating last weekend and I really felt for the boys because, in the last two home matches, they have done enough to come away with six points,” Wright said.
“But we have five games left to play and we have to win all of them.
“If we can beat FC United, which will be tough, then it gives us just a chance.
“Having spoken to fans and people around the club, there is an acceptance that we are down and they seem comfortable with it.
“There’s been no booing from the supporters and the players haven’t been dug out, which they easily could have been.
“We haven’t been good enough and maybe we will have to take a step back to come back stronger and if that’s what we have to do then so be it.
“No matter which way it goes, we have a summer of rebuilding ahead of us.
“I think the club have learned a lot, just like I have and they will know what needs to be done to ensure we can come back even better than before.
“But we aren’t mathematically down yet so, for the time being, we might as well have a real go at it right up until the end of the season.
“We just have to keep going and there is nothing to lose.
“We will give it our best shot and if it falls short, it falls short.”