TRAFFORD FC manager Tom Baker insists the pressure is on Lancaster City ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash in the Evo-Stik North.
Trafford visit the Giant Axe in fine form with a run of 15 unbeaten having propelled them from 15th place to 2nd, on goal difference.
Lancaster won 4-1 at Shawe View back in September and are now 6 points clear, with 1 game in hand, having not lost at home since October 22.
But the Dolly Blues have lost 2 of their last 8 and Baker feels his side must go all-out for the win in order to take the opportunity to close the gap.
“We played them before we went on this run, when we were struggling a bit, and they beat us at our place quite comfortably,” he told Beyond the Big Two.
“We’re a different team now and they’re still doing well, but there’s nothing better than these games. They are the sort you want to be involved in, as a player and a manager.
“There’s been a nice build-up to it and we’re just going to go there, be positive and try to win the game. There’s probably more pressure on them because we’re chasing them.
“That puts the expectation on them to beat us, with them being at home as well. They’re 6 points ahead of us at the minute with a game in hand so a draw would probably be better for them than it is for us.
“They’d probably take that but we’re looking at it thinking ‘we’ve got nothing to lose, we need to win it’. Although a draw would keep our unbeaten run going, it doesn’t take us any closer to Lancaster so we’re definitely going there to win it. That’s easier said than done because they’re a very good side and they’re top of the league for a reason, but hopefully it’ll be a good game.”
Trafford now have 17 league games left as they bid to repeat the feat of 2013, when they won promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier for the first time. So Baker has boosted his squad ahead of the run-in, bringing in centre-half Alex Frost and midfielder Rob Bourne following his release by Bury.
The 31-year-old boss has also added experience with Greg Daniels, who actually turns 24 on Saturday, coming aboard. The striker made over 150 appearances for FC United before leaving to go travelling in the summer. There’s also a return for 27-year-old winger Jack Dorney, with the former Bury trainee back at Shawe View after leaving for Chorley in the summer.
“Greg’s a very good player, with a really good pedigree, but he’s short of fitness at the moment,” said Baker. “He’s not played since last season so need to get him fit. If we can do that as quick as possible then he’ll be a real asset for us between now and the end of the season.
“Jack was with me here last season and I was able to bring him back in. He’s another experienced player at this level – and above – who will hopefully provide us with some goals and assists between now and the end of season. It makes us that little bit stronger so we’re looking OK at the minute.”