Stevenage boss Dino Maamria has stressed the important of his players staying mentally sharp and strong as we approach the business end of the 2018/19 season...
His side sit five points outside the Play-Offs heading into Saturday’s clash with Bury and Maamria knows that it's an important week in the race for the top seven.
“It is a crucial part of the season when it comes to March, April, May. We have worked very hard all season to be in the position where we are, and we are going to make sure that we finish the season and strong as we can and give everything we have got.
"This week has been about that, preparing the players physically and mentally, especially to deal with the upcoming fixtures. I think physically, tactically and technically we will be ready because we have done a lot of work all season, we are quite a fit team, we are quite organised and I think the mentality of the team is the most important thing at this stage of the season.
"A lot of clubs, they get to February, March and they are all physically tired, mentally tired, and the stronger teams mentally are the ones that kick on and push on and I think working on the players’ mentality is more important at this stage of the season.
"We know that we have got some big games coming up, we have got a big week actually. This weekend first-of-all we have Bury and then we have Swindon at home and if we get 6 points from those two games, we will be right in it."
Saturday's opponents are the form team in the division and after Manager Ryan Lowe won his third Manager of the Month award of the season on Friday morning, it is clear that a big challenge awaits.
Maamria knows that although his team might be underdogs for the game, there are many intangibles that can help level the playing field.
"It is well documented how good Bury are, they have got very good players, I went and watched them on Tuesday. They are unbeaten in 12, second in the league, all the good things you can talk about, but it is not going to be about Bury.
"It is about desire, it is about commitment, it is about passion. It is about sometimes when you are the underdog, and you have not got Bury’s quality, you have to make up for it with our desire to in the game and that is free, we can do that.
"We can turn up, play on the front foot, play with ambition and show our fans that we mean business and if we do that, I think we will get the right result."
Subscribe to iFollow for only £4.49 a month & gain full access to all official videos, including all interviews, full match highlights and also live match commentary.
To find out more about our video service, please click here.