Manager Simon Grayson is well aware who else is playing who this weekend, but he has tunnel vision focused on his own team and what they need to do.
“As we’ve said over the last few weeks, everyone is going to be playing against each other, dropping points and gaining points, but we just need to focus on what we need to do,” he said.
“We are aware that Easter can often be a defining period in a season and that will be a case for a lot of teams. You play two games in a short space of time, like you do at Christmas, and then after that you only have half a dozen games left, so it is important we try and pick up as many points as we can and put the pressure on the other teams.
“We have always said that if we win every game between now and the end of the season, we would be promoted and that is the mind-set we will go into these games with.
“I am not concerned about what the other teams are doing – if someone had offered us in pre-season to be four points clear in second with eight games to go we would have taken that. We are on a good run, but we know we still have to keep improving and working hard, approaching each game on its merit.”
The opponents for the Bank Holiday fixture are in fine form themselves, five wins in the last seven games have propelled them into the Play-Off mix and the PNE chief is under no illusions as to how tough a test it will be.
“Rochdale have done very well,” he continued. “Them, Chesterfield and Fleetwood all got promoted last year and kept the momentum going and are all in within a chance of getting into the Play-Off, which is a fantastic achievement and a testament to all three of those clubs.
“Keith Hill’s teams play with a vibrant energy about them, play good football and it will be a tough game. We didn’t perform on that day earlier in the season, but they have a different team, we are a different team and they will know what we can do.
“We are aware of their strengths, but we are looking forward to it and looking to get another three points.”
And with eight games and 24 points left to play for, the boss says that there will be plenty of twists and turns left before everything is finalised: “There is all to play for, for virtually every team in the division.
“It is tight from the top down to 14th or 15th, where every team can still get into the Play-Offs, so every game has something riding on it.
“We have to aim to finish as high up the table as possible. We have to be looking to catch Bristol City, but we have to look over our shoulder as well, because we’d be daft not to do.
“There are still loads of points to play for and we are focused on what we need to do,” he added.
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