Sol Campbell expects a competitive game against Bury this afternoon, as his Silkmen side travel up to Greater Manchester for another crucial 90 minutes towards their survival bid.
In-form Bury are currently flying high in the division, but this has not fazed the manager or his staff, who will arrive at Gigg Lane as if it is just another game.
He plans to install this mentality into his promising group of players, who have improved massively since Campbell’s appointment three months ago.
“When I was a player, it never mattered who I was playing, as I always prepared the same way,” said the former England international. “I’ve always respected the opposition regardless of their level. I didn’t look at the league position, instead I focused on how I would play.
“I want to develop that mentality in the players. Yes, Bury are flying high, and we’ve got to do all the things that we’ve practiced spot on. But we have to play football in the right moments, be brave on the ball and play to win.
“They are a very mobile team from left to right and are very comfortable on the ball, especially in midfield. It’s going to be a tough game for us, but we’ve done our homework, and the players can now compete and give themselves a chance.”
The improvements over the course of Sol’s reign have been clear for everybody to see, but the squad are waiting for the pivotal three points that they have come so close to in the last trio of matches.
However, the team has also received an important boost ahead of today’s clash, with a significant number of players returning to training, shortening what was a very daunting injury list.
“It’s been a good week,” Campbell explained. “We’ve been on the natural grass all the time, which I prefer over astro. And with players coming back from injury, we went through our preparations with no hiccups, which was great.
“Nathan would be the only one almost definitely coming into the starting lineup, but there could be a couple more as well.”
However, despite having more players to choose from, the manager has expressed the fans support is still key in this brave battle for Sky Bet League Two safety.
“Keep supporting us, as obviously, the league is a little bit closer,” said Sol. “It’s a lot of hard work, but I am enjoying every minute of this job, and we are going to fight until the end to stay in this division.
“You guys have definitely been a great help in the ups and downs of trying to stay in this division. So please come and give your much-needed support.”
By Matt Bates