Gainsborough Trinity face a mad March as the fixture pile-up caused by the recent bad weather begins to bite.
Steve Housham’s men face six games in 21 days as they look to eliminate the spectre of relegation and push for a top half finish, something that the Trinity boss is adamant the club can achieve.
“We’re going to keep going and look to compete in every game. There are plenty of points available and we’ll fight for every one.”
With 13 games left of the season, Trinity are 13 points clear of the drop zone, but know that they face several teams in contention for the play-off spots in Skrill North.
After Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat against Solihull Moors, the Blues face tough games against Hednesford Town, North Ferriby United, Altrincham and Harrogate Town - all of whom sit within touching distance of the top of the table.
Add into the mix the visit of Gloucester City - themselves fighting for their lives at the foot of the table - and a trip to Bradford Park Avenue, and March is shaping up to be a crucial month in Trinity’s season.
“It doesn’t get easier for us, does it? We have a run of tough games and we’ve seen against Solihull that sides at the top end of the table get the rub of the green in games,” said the Blues boss.
“It happened for us in previous years. When we were chasing the play-offs, we went to Altrincham and nicked a win when we didn’t really deserve it. You just have to take the rough with the smooth.”
Although the end of the season is in sight, the Trinity boss hasn’t set a points target.
“We’re just taking every game as it comes. There is no target – we’re trying to get as many points on the board and move up the table.”
Housham admits that it has been a tough season for the Blues, who have been operating on a significantly reduced budget since the departure of financial backer Peter Swann.
“It has been tough, but we knew it was going to be. I’m proud of the way we’ve battled all season, and you can count on one hand the number of really bad performances we’ve had.”
“You look at where we are in the table, and you have to remember that we had six defeats in a row to start off with and gave everyone an 18 point head start.”
One of the running themes of the season has been the club’s loan players, who have been needed to supplement the small squad of contracted players.
Taking advantage of his contacts in the Football League and Conference Premier, Housham has brought in several players that have made a real impact on the club’s performances, such as Scunthorpe United youngster Jamie Wootton.
“We’ve had to bring these young lads in and they’ve done a job for us. There are times when they can get a bit overawed or physically beaten, and at times I’ve had to tell them to man up because they’re playing a man’s game now.”
The club has also been hit hard by injuries throughout the season, although Housham is pleased that his side are now largely back at full fitness.
“Callum Howe’s head injury isn’t as bad we feared it might be, we just had to take him off as a precaution. By half time he was fine but you can’t take that risk. It’s just another bump in a rollercoaster season.”
Terinity travel to Hednesford on Saturday and host North Ferriby United on Tuesday.