Shaun Reid says he wants to go up as champions as Warrington Town prepare for their top of the table crunch clash with Northwich Victoria.
Town are currently top of Evo-Stik First Division North, having played four more games than their nearest rivals, and many are tipping a two-horse race for the title.
With only one automatic promotion place, Reid is keen to avoid the lottery of the play-offs, where Town slipped up two seasons ago after finishing third in the table, their highest ever league finish.
He said: “I don’t think my heart could take it! We’re in it to win it. I like the sound of being champions.
“We’re 14 points clear of third place, so it’s a lot to make up at this time of year, but you can’t count anyone out.
“No one has got a god given right to win every football match. We should be there or thereabouts.”
Northwich have earned 55 points from their 20 league games to date, while Warrington have earned 53 points from their last 20 league games and are currently on a nine game unbeaten run.
It is the first time the two sides have met this season, with the reverse fixture scheduled for March 5.
Reid added: “I’m surprised to hear their manager say the pressure is on us. Everyone can beat anyone. There are no easy games in this league.
“They’ve only played one of the top five. Other teams will win and lose games over the rest of the season. All we can do is focus on ourselves. If we win all our games, we’ll win the title.
“We’re in it to play in games like this. We had one aim this season and that was promotion. To be top of the table at this stage of the season is a testament to the players, who’ve been outstanding and they’re starting to get a bit of belief.”
Reid is hoping to see a large crowd at Cantilever Park for the title crunch, and acknowledges his players rise to the occasion on the big games – much like they did in the famous FA Cup win over Exeter last season.
“It you look through the last couple of seasons, the games against Curzon, Darlington and Salford there’s been a great atmosphere and you always look to win those big games.
“If we’ve got 500 fans there cheering us on it will go along way.”
Curzon Ashton won the division two seasons ago, but only after their first trip to Warrington was abandoned after half an hour due to floodlight failure, with Town 2-0 up. It was a critical point in the season, and Reid admits he’s anxious that there isn’t a repeat.
He said: “We’ve checked, double checked and triple checked!
“Hopefully at 5 o clock on Saturday we’ll be able to have a red wine after a victory and we’ll be on our way.”
Warrington Town take on Northwich Victoria on Saturday (3pm kick-off) at Cantilever Park. You can pay on the gate – £8 for adults, £5 for concessions and £2 for Under 16s (or free with a paying adult).
Training photos courtesy of Barrie Scholes.