Ramsbottom United joint-manager Anthony Johnson is demanding a return to form when his side face Warrington Town at Cantilever Park.
A solitary point from the Easter fixture programme – making it one win in five – saw Rammy slip out of the play-offs with eight games remaining.
And Johnson is eager to stress the importance of securing maximum points this weekend as his squad bid for back-to-back promotions.
“Ordinarily you would be happy taking a point away from home but because of our recent form we have to go and get the three points tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s going to be a tough game as Warrington are one of those hit and miss sides but we’ve got to get out of this rut.
“Every side around us has had a bad run recently and they have all got out of it, they have started winning games again.
“We’re having ours now at the worst possible time so we’ve got to get three points on the board.”
Ramsbottom’s stuttering run of late – which followed seven wins in eight matches – has come against teams without much to play for other than pride.
Despite hoping otherwise, the former Clitheroe striker knows his players will have to be on their guard with several other fixtures against mid-table sides coming up.
“We looked at the fixture list four or five games ago and we looked at the sides we were playing and they were all in mid-table,” he added.
“And you like to think the likes of Farsley, Radcliffe Borough,Warrington Town and Salford City – sides with nothing to play for – might roll over.
“But our results last week showed they are not prepared to do that and these teams are good sides on their day.”
With the race for the play-offs set to go down to the wire, Rammy have a number of fixtures on the horizon against fellow promotion hopefuls.
And Johnson knows his side’s form against the division’s leading lights will have to improve if his charges are to throw their hat into the play-off ring come May.
“You only have to look at our fixture list to see how many of the top sides we still have to play,” he said.
“It’s going to be difficult as the only side in the top five or six we have taken points off this season is Clitheroe.
“Other than that everyone else has beaten us so we are going to have to break that mould and take points off teams above us.
“If we don’t then we don’t deserve to be in the play-offs it’s as simple as that, so we have to beat the teams above us to make sure get into those play-off spots.”
Evo-Stik Premier Division
FC United of Manchester will look to build on their impressive form over the Easter period when they entertain Witton Albion at Gigg Lane.
Ashton United – fresh from consecutive goalless draws – travel to fourth-placed Rushall Olympic.
Evo-Stik League Division One North
Trafford entertain Farsley this weekend as they bid to keep their play-off march ticking over, while third-placed Mossley host Prescot Cables.
Curzon Ashton hit ten last week at the Tameside Stadium and welcome lowly Goole as New Mills play Ossett Town at Church Lane.
Radcliffe Borough travel toYorkshire where Ossett Albion lie in wait while Andy Heald’s Salford City host Burscough.
Picture courtesy of Rob Moss, with thanks