Bury manager David Flitcroft admitted their final league match of the season will have a tinge of sadness despite automatic promotion still being within grasp.
The Shakers travel to already relegated Tranmere Rovers knowing that they need to win and hope Southend United drop points at Morecambe to secure third spot.
But Flitcroft insists that seeing Tranmere lose their league status after 94 years could lead to an unusual mixture of relegation despair and promotion delight.
“We’ve lost one of the North West football league family and that hurts as a North West person because I’ve been part of it for most of my life,” he said.
“We try and help each other, the bigger clubs help the smaller clubs and that’s certainly something we’ve had while I’ve been here.
“When you see top clubs like Tranmere get relegated, when I arrived as manager we had that threat, it drives me on every day to improve.
“The biggest thing for me this week has been making sure we stay on task because we’ve got a job to do, we’ve got to go to Tranmere and be really professional.”
Bury sit two points behind Southend but boast a superior goal difference and could yet finish as low as fifth with Wycombe Wanderers still in the hunt.
The Shakers have won eight on their last ten matches and recorded a 2-0 win over Rovers at the JD Stadium back in October so will go in with confidence.
And Flitcroft said that finishing in the play-off places would not be disastrous for the ambitious club who are ultimately aiming for Championship status.
“Our first goal was to steer for 80 points, Rochdale were promoted last season with 79 – usually that is enough to take you out of the league,” he added.
“The planning for the play-offs has been done over the last two weeks – that is our first objective and we’ve achieved that.”
Main image courtesy of Bury FC via YouTube, with thanks.