TOWN head to Swindon Town on Saturday afternoon (3pm) as they look to secure their League Two safety for next season.
A victory against the Robins would go someway to doing that, with Barnet's game with Newport County also playing a part in matters, but it will be a difficult fixture against a Swindon side that are still within touching distance of the play-offs.
Although recent form hasn't been great under new manager Phil Brown, they still boast one oof the more talented squads in the division and are also celebrating 25 years since their promotion to the Premier League back in 1993, so the Mariners will have to put in a strong performance to come away with all three points.
Town without Mills, Jackson and Davies in contention
Town will be without Zak Mills after be was ruled out for the season with a hernia problem on Thursday, but Simeon Jackson and Ben Davies have returned to first team action and played for the reserves in mid-week so are expected to be involved.
Loanees Malik Wilks and Charles Vernam, as well as defender Paul Dixon remain out, whilst Jamille Matt has been carrying a knock but should be able to shake it off enough to play a part.
Swindon have several late decisions to make on the injury front with striker Kayne Woolery and defender Olly Lancashire both doubts for the game, whilst top scorer Luke Norris will continue to miss out with a shoulder issue.
Swindon aiming for play-offs
Swindon go into the game at the weekend without a win in six games but are only four points off the play-off positions, so are still in with a chance going into the closing weeks of the campaign.
The Robins have been extremely entertaining to watch this season, scoring 64 goals and letting in just as many so there is certainly the potential for goals from both sides.
Former Hull City manager Phil Brown took over last month after David Flitcroft left for Mansfield Town, and he will be eager to get his second win as manager after the recent dip in form.
The club have a fairly youthful squad at their disposal so there is plenty of hope for the future at the County Ground, but they will still be hoping to achieve something in the present and will know that it may take winning their last three games to give them a chance of doing just that.
Earlier in the season
The two sides met in an extremely entertaining fixture at Blundell Park earlier in the season, when Town came away with a 3-2 victory back in November.
The Mariners took the lead that night early on through Jamille Matt but were pegged back by goals from Keshi Anderson and unfortunate Matt own goal before coming back to earn all three points through late goals from Siriki Dembele and Mitch Rose.
Town and Swindon have met 43 times in their history, with the Mariners winning 15, the Robins winning 18 and there being eight draws during that time.
Managers in summary
Michael Jolley: We’ve done the analysis on Swindon, as they will have done on us, and we’ll prepare right and select a team to try and win the game. Whoever you play, you’ve got to get the balance right. If you go all-out attack against a team, you potentially leave yourself open to getting hurt, but equally you’ve got to pose a threat. I think we’ve had made that balance quite well in recent games, and we need to keep going with that.
“Swindon are up toward the top end of the table for a reason, and it’s because they’re a good team and they’ve got good players, as well as a very experienced manager who knows this league and has got out of this league before. It’s a big challenge for us, but we’re ready to take it on.”
Phil Brown: ''The nearest thing to my mind is the game on Saturday and to win three big games of football so we have a chance to get into the play-offs and then we’ll start talking. Saturday’s game is so important and the supporters will hopefully turn out given it’s our 25th anniversary since reaching the top flight. If we do get a good crowd, we need to entertain them and get a win and if we get that win, hopefully we can carry it forward into Colchester next weekend.”