MANAGER Rob Cousins insists Yate Town will give everything in their final four league games of the season to try and sneak into the end of season play-offs.
The Bluebells are threatening to make a late charge in Division One South & West of the Southern League after stretching their unbeaten run to five games with a 1-0 win over Mangotsfield United in the local derby at Lodge Road last Saturday, but midweek results saw them drop to eighth with fifth-placed Paulton Rovers opening up a four-point gap on them having played a game less.
Cousins admits Yate will have to pick up a maximum return from their remaining fixtures to have any chance of finishing in the top five, which would mean becoming the first side to win away to leaders Merthyr Town in the league this season on Saturday.
However, Yate drew 0-0 against them in an FA Trophy clash in October, which was Merthyr’s last home game at Cinderford, and only went out on penalties after their Red Insure Cup tie on the new 3G surface at the Cigg-E stadium in January finished 1-1.
When Yate beat Mangotsfield 2-1 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, they followed it up with a 1-0 victory at then-leaders Cirencester Town a week later and Cousins believes they can repeat history at Merthyr.
He said: “It’s a perfect opportunity. We’ll go there with no fear.”
“What we’ve got to do is go there and have a bit of pride and just give it our all, but I’ll be disappointed if we come away and don’t give it a go.
“If you look at the teams above us, we’re all fighting for that last (play-off) spot.
“Other teams have got games on us, but if we can string a run together and pick up four wins we could get in the back door.”
Cousins dedicated the win over Mangotsfield to the fans.
He said: “It does mean something to them and it should mean something to the players representing this club and that’s what we tried to emphasise, that we were playing for the supporters as much as ourselves.”
Captain Mike Bryant will be suspended for the trip to Merthyr and next Tuesday night’s GFA Senior Challenge Cup semi-final against Mangotsfield United at Cossham Street (7.45pm).
Mitch Tippins will be assessed after going off with a hip injury against Mangotsfield, while Yate will continue to manage an ongoing groin problem which saw Jake Cox start on the bench, but James Harmer will return to the squad after missing out due to work commitments.