A simple scenario for play-off chasing Brackley – win and you’re in
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If the Saints can beat fellow contenders Alfreton Town at St James Park on the final day of the regular season, they will go on to compete in the Vanarama National League North play-offs.
However, if they were to slip up, a long queue of teams are ready to sneak into the top seven on what promises to be a dramatic last day of the campaign.
Interim boss Gaz Dean suffered his first defeat since taking charge following the departure of previous manager Roger Johnson as Brackley were beaten 3-1 at another play-off contender Buxton last Saturday.
It’s now all come down to one game and, hopefully, one win.
“We left the game on Saturday really disappointed, mainly because of how the week had gone leading up to it,” Dean said.
“Training was really sharp on Thursday and we were excited going up to the game.
“The warm-up was brilliant but it’s deflating when individual errors happen.
“Unfortunately, you can’t afford to give the goals away like we did at this level of football.
“That being said, the message is still the same. We have got one game and if we win, we’re in.
“We are at home, I am sure there will be a decent crowd behind us and it’s down to the lads.
“We have got a huge opportunity to achieve what the goal really was and is in this mini cycle of games that we agreed to take over for.
“The target was to achieve a play-off spot and that’s still a possibility. The players need to believe in it and want it. If they want it, it’s there for them.
“The message is going to be very simple. One game. One win. You’re in.”
Dean knows his team will need to show their “mental resilience” to bounce back after the setback at Buxton.
The damage was done in the first half with the Saints falling 3-0 down before Glenn Walker pulled a goal back.
And Dean added: “I’ve watched the game back and Buxton are an experienced team.
“I said to the lads afterwards that if you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it, their senior players made little to no mistakes on the day and our senior players were error-ridden.
“I didn’t really need to tell them that but now it’s all about their mental resilience and how much they want to pick themselves up and have another go.
“It’s difficult as a manager because you can’t control those individual moments, no matter how much planning and preparation you do.
“You can’t give any team a two or three-goal headstart and Buxton then sat in a good shape and made it really difficult for us to break them down.”