Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff insists they “still want to win it” going into their League Two clash with automatic promotion on the line against play off chasers Carlisle United.
After beating Colchester United 1-0 on the weekend, The Robins leapfrogged Cambridge United at the top of the table and edged themselves closer to automatic promotion to League One.
Duff’s side only need a point against 10th placed Carlisle, who are just five points off of the play off positions.
The 43-year old admits it hasn’t sunk in that they’re so close to promotion.
“A bit weird, to be honest. We are nearly there, but we haven’t quite done it yet,” said Duff.
“There is a lot of relief about the result on Saturday. It was a tight game, but we were good within it. The first half was a little bit anxious because of the pressure, but we have an opportunity now and we spoke about it in the week, rather than crawling over the line, or limping over the line, we want to go and win the league.
“The performance on Saturday proved that. Hopefully with it being so close it frees them up a little bit and they can go and express themselves, because it’s going to be a difficult game.”
Despite Carlisle not on the best run of form with four draws and one loss in the past five games, Duff is still aware of the potential threat the visitors could pose.
“They probably have a pretty good understanding of what we are and we have a good understanding of what they are,” Duff explained.
“They are very good at what they do, they get men in the box, they have the most shots and touches in the opposition box in the league. The most chances in the league, so they do it really and they have a mixture of players.
“They can change it like we can, but I don’t think they’ll come too far away from what they’ve been successful at. We’ll be doing the same. Little tweaks and you can change the personnel. Making personnel changes can change what’s happening in a game.”
With Cheltenham pushing for promotion and Carlisle looking to get back to challenging for the play off positions, it could make for an entertaining affair.
“It looks like that. We want to win it and they probably have to go and win it,” Duff added.
“They’ll be really positive with everything they do because they’ve had such a good season, tarnished by Covid and cancellations, with 10 games called off at one point, including one against us.
“They’ve been unlucky, but they won’t want to feel sorry for themselves. Where they are based location wise, they do a lot of miles, so they’ll be coming to win and hopefully it’ll free it up and be an entertaining game of football.”
Cheltenham kick-off against Carlisle at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium tomorrow night at 19:00pm.