After a productive Easter weekend, Kings Langley boss Paul Hobbs is calling on his players to keep their cool and seal survival tomorrow.
A goalless draw with Redditch United and a 2-0 defeat of Hayes & Yeading United on Monday leaves Kings a place above the drop zone, knowing victory over Cirencester Town tomorrow will guarantee their Southern League Premier Division status.
Cirencester need a win to give themselves a chance of staying up and Hobbs, therefore, feels the side who copes best with the pressure will prosper at Gaywood Park.
“Coping with the pressure could be decisive. I am sure all our boys will be up for it and we are as a management team,” Hobbs said.
“It’s easy to say it is just another game but we all know it is not. We have got to make sure the boys are focused on it but relaxed as well.
“Everyone is looking forward to it and can’t wait for Saturday to come around now.”
Pressure is something Kings’ players have become accustomed to over the last couple of months as the relegation fight has headed towards its climax.
They have coped admirably with the demands and a run of five games in a row without defeat keeps them in control of their own fate heading into the final day.
The draw with Redditch on Saturday meant Kings went into a crunch meeting with Hayes & Yeading United three points behind their rivals.
Goals from Jerry Amoo and Ryan Plowright secured a 2-0 win in a match dripping with subplot as Kings went clear of the drop zone on goal difference.
Hayes’ joint-bosses Paul Hughes and Ritchie Hanlon left Kings earlier in the season after issues over the club’s budget, taking a number of the club’s players with them.
Hobbs says it was impossible to ignore the outside elements, but praised his players for a committed performance.
“It was hard not to approach the situation in a certain way, knowing that they had ex-managers and ex-players,” he said.
“It added a little bit of spice to the game, but performance wise, the boys did exactly what we asked of them. We knew we needed three points to keep our season going.
“We had to be focused and do a professional job. The end result was a positive one and I am just really pleased that all the hard work paid off in the 90 minutes.”
With tomorrow’s opponents sitting two points below Kings in the table, defeat would consign Hobbs’ side to the drop.
They will have an eye on Hayes and Cambridge City’s results as the duo take on Merthyr Town and St Neots Town respectively.
All three sides are level on 44 points and Kings must at least match the results of their nearest challengers to stay up.
Hobbs, however, insists Kings have enjoyed a positive campaign in their first season in the Premier Division, regardless of tomorrow’s outcome.
He said: “At the end of the day, we were favourites to go down on day one, so if we stay in the league it is a massive achievement.
“Not only the players and the management, but everyone behind the scenes as well have worked so hard.
“If we get three points we will stay in the league and if we don’t, the league doesn’t lie.”