Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin knows his side must win two games in three days to keep alive any hopes of creeping into the Vanarama National League North play-offs.
Saints travel to mid-table FC United of Manchester on Saturday and two days later entertain Gainsborough Trinity who still have a chance of getting out the relegation zone.
This time we’re relying on three teams slipping up to get into the play-offs and I can’t see that happeningSaints boss Kevin Wilkin
As for Saints, they seem to be stuck in eighth place no matter what they do on the pitch. Saints are four points adrift of Darlington 1883 who occupy the final play-off place on goal difference from Chorley and Stockport County.
Saints’ four remaining games, especially the two at home against Gainsborough Trinity and second from bottom Stalybridge Celtic, could harvest maximum points. But 12 points may still not be enough unless their three rivals all slip up.
Wilkin said: “It’s frustrating to be where we are with four games to go because I believed we could have pushed on after Christmas and been in the play-offs. Doing so well in both cup competitions played a part because we had two games each week for a long time.
“My players are an honest bunch and would probably not admit to being tired but we seemed to have lost our spark in several games in 2017.
“It’s not impossible but we need things to go our way and we can’t afford not to win any of our remaining games. There’s no reason why we can’t go to FC United and Harrogate and get three points but we have to win both our remaining home games as well.
“Last season we were relying on one team to slip up to get out of the relegation zone. This time we’re relying on three teams slipping up to get into the play-offs and I can’t see that happening.”
Whatever happens in those remaining four games, Wilkin says he would like to remain at St James Park next season.
He added: “I’ve already had discussions about next season and I’d like to stay. I’ve enjoyed my time here so far, even when we were fighting relegation last season.”