Mike Flynn has urged his side to “finish the job” as they look to secure their place in League 2 for next season at Carlisle United this Saturday, writes Ryan Robinson.
The Exiles climbed out of the drop-zone for the first time since November with last week’s victory over Accrington Stanley.
And Flynn has challenged his players to not get complacent despite having destiny in their own hands.
He said: “To be where we are now has been a fantastic effort. But, we have to finish the job off now and we definitely won’t be taking our foot off the gas and thinking it’s done because Cheltenham and Hartlepool will be fighting for their lives.
“The boys have been in this week and have been fantastic. Really focused, work ethic has been as good as it has been since I’ve been here. The tempo in training has been fantastic and they’ve been going 100%.”
“There’s been no complacency and there won’t be any going up to Carlisle either.”
County know a win at Brunton Park could be enough to survive if other results go their way.
And Flynn says he wants his side to secure safety with a week to go.
“I’d love to do it Saturday so that we can have a fun, enjoyable day next week against Notts County.
“But I’m not thinking about that at the minute because we’ve got a tough game on Saturday and all our concentration will be on getting three points and what will be will be after the game.
“We will be approaching the game exactly the same, we want the three points.
“The players will not want all their hard work of getting out of the bottom to go to waste.”
He added: “They’ve worked their socks off to get into this position. They’ve bought into what we have been doing and all the credit goes to them.
“We can prepare them, put them on the pitch but after they cross that white line they have to make their own decisions so thankfully they have got most of them right so far.
“I always believed we could do it and hopefully we can get it done a week early.”
Despite the prospect of securing safety, the Exiles will know that they will be coming up against a formidable Carlisle team, who themselves have their own aspirations of making the League 2 play-offs.
And Flynn says he will not underestimate the home team.
“They are a very good team. They’ve got some very good League 2 players, good manager in Keith Curle,” he continued.
“They started the season in an unbelievable manner but we were the first team to beat them and I hope we are the last team to beat them as-well so we can get the three points Saturday because we need them.”
He added:” I think it could be over 200 fans going to Carlisle which is an absolute unbelievable support so far away.
“Fair play to the fans - they follow the club, they back the club, they’re special. I’m hoping we can get the result Saturday to make that journey home a lot quicker.”
Some early team-news for the game at Brunton Park could see the return of Scot Bennett.
The 26-year-old missed last week’s victory over Accrington Stanley with a hamstring injury picked up in the defeat at Plymouth Argyle on Easter Monday.
But Flynn believes the centre-half should be back in time for the trip to Cumbria.
“We’re hoping to have Scot Bennett back but we’re not too sure yet,” he said.
“We maybe could have risked him against Accrington but it wasn’t worth it. You have to look at the bigger picture and thankfully we should have him for the final two games so I think it’s paid off what we did.”
He added: “Mitchell Rose is out as are Lenell John Lewis and Ben Tozer.
“Mitch has had his results back and he has a bit of swelling on his medial ligaments. It’s better news than we thought which is encouraging but we can’t put a time frame on it. It might be ten days; it might be his season done so at the moment I’m not going to guess.”
There was also better news about long-term absentee Jamie Turley.
Turley, who hasn’t featured for the Exiles since 17th September made his return in the reserve game on Tuesday.
Saturday’s trip may come just a little too early for the defender, however.
On Turley, Flynn said: “He won’t be in the next one.
“If we’re safe after Saturday, then I’ll have a look how I can get some players some minutes who haven’t played. We’re all in it together and I want to be fair on the players.”
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