Jim Bentley has challenged his Morecambe side not to limp over the finish line as the League 2 season draws to a close.
The Shrimps slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers on Saturday and are now five games without a win ahead of Mansfield’s visit to the Globe Arena on Saturday.
Bentley believes his side need one more victory to ensure Football League safety for another season as they sit eight points clear of Northampton in the final relegation place after Kaid Mohamed’s last-minute winner at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
He insists however in a tight division that the Shrimps should have their eyes firmly fixed on a top-half finish.
Bentley said: “The bottom two didn’t win on Saturday so the distance stays the same but that’s not what I’m about.
“I don’t want to limp over the line and just see ourselves safe.
“The league’s that tight that one win can shoot you into the top half.
“I want to try and finish in the top half this season but if we don’t do the right things at the right time in the right areas of the pitch we’re going to come unstuck like we did in the 93rd minute on Saturday.
“We’ve got to battle on.”
Bentley believes his players should be treating the final six games as cup finals starting with the game against the Stags this weekend.
He said: “We’ve got six games to play and they are six cup finals.
“Now all the teams are playing each other so someone’s going to pick up points.
“But we’re still what we were away from the bottom two. We probably still just need a win to make sure we’re safe.
“The longer it goes the more pressure it brings but everyone’s in the same boat.
“It makes next week’s game all the harder because if we’d picked up a point on Saturday the difference between ourselves and Bristol Rovers would have been the same and it would have been a point further clear of Northampton.
“It would have been a clean sheet and there would have been some positivity so the result was very tough to take. But we’ve got to learn and learn quickly.”