Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson has challenged his squad to use the pressure of the promotion run-in to their advantage, as the race for the Championship reaches the final straight.
United travel to Tranmere Rovers tomorrow placed sixth in the League - but remain just seven points behind leaders Doncaster, with two games in hand.
The postponment of last weekend’s game against Brentford saw United lose further ground on Brian Flynn’s Doncaster - but Wilson insists that his charges must simply focus on the next game, rather than concern themselves with points and positions.
“The games will come thick and fast now, but it is imperative to keep our focus on the next game in front of us,” Wilson said.
“We aren’t looking at the table, nor worrying about our games in hand.
“Hopefully we can get our noses in front before we play those games in hand.
“We must take the pressure and expectation in our stride, and it gives us confidence.
“I hate people taking the negatives over the positives.
“Let’s use the confidence we have to turn this challenge ahead of us into something we can be proud of.
“Everyone at the club would be delighted if we were in the Championship next season.”
A positive result against Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere - one point and one place above them in the League One standings - would go some way towards that goal.
United then face an Easter Monday clash at home to Carlisle United.
Also on Monday, Doncaster host fellow automatic promotion rivals Swindon, but Wilson said: “We can’t afford to be relying on other people to do us favours; we must do it ourselves.
“We are in a position where if we win every game, we win promotion. It is that simple.
“The squad is more than capable of winning every match left in front of us.
“Whether or not that happens is arguable.”
Wilson is confident that his side will respond to the disappointment of their last league game, when they crashed 4-0 at Stevenage.
“I would never question that attitude or desire of this bunch because to a man they will give you anything every week,” Wilson said.
“I have never seen them as a group more despondent then they were at Stevenage, and obviously nobody wants to feel like that again this season.
“I am sure we won’t.”
Wilson is sweating on the fitness of winger Jamie Murphy, who is struggling with hamstring and back injuries.
“We remain hopeful but he must be classified as a doubt,” the United boss said.
“Jamie is naturally a fit lad, but we can’t risk him too soon and end up ruling him out for the season.”