With Saturday’s visitors Dagenham & Redbridge rock bottom of the Football League, Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray knows what a potential banana skin the game could be for his play-off hopefuls.
As his Stags side try to hold onto their top seven place, he admitted: “These games are always tricky ones – horrendous.
“We have to focus on us and what we’ve done the last few weeks. We’ve been very organised and very disciplined – very focused and very professional.
“Our possession count has dropped over the last few weeks but we’ve won more games. So the thing for us at the minute is getting the right balance.
“We know we can cause teams problems but we must make sure we stay in control of games.
“Saturday will be a tough one as they are obviously scrapping for their lives. “We’ve been there and we know what it’s like. You go into every game as life and death, so we need to make sure we are ready for what’s coming.
“We are going into some massive games – there are 14 to go and we’ve got to stay up there.
“Now we are there, even though we know we are over-achieving and we’re not expected to be up there, let’s stay there. The foot’s not coming off the gas now.”
Murray added: “It’s a weird one. People like telling me we can’t beat the teams in and around us – thanks for that!
“Our next step for us to be better is to beat those sides in and around us. If that comes this season or next, that gets you in the top four or five consistently through the season.
“The next step then is beating the top one or two consistently and that gets you in the top three. We are where we are in our journey – we can’t quicken the process up.”
Stags will certainly tackle the last 14 games in a positive frame of mind, with Murray saying: “We are at the stage of the season now where points mean everything.
“So records and trends go out of the window. Every games comes on its own merit and is an individual game now.
“We take it game by game and try to win every single one of them.
“Within this next 14 games there will be twists and turns.
“The big thing over this 14 games – and we’ve said it for the last three – is that it’s win or lose. Draws are nothing now.
“The pleasing thing for me against Plymouth was that we had a go. Sometimes we left ourselves too open.
“We could have gone there 4-5-1, defended and try to nick something. But we tried to win the game. We need points. You’re better off winning one and losing one now.”