Jim Bentley says his side have nine cup finals to end the season – starting with the trip to Carlisle on Saturday.
The Shrimps boss admits that the chance of a late run at the play-offs has been made all the more difficult by two home defeats in a week but insists there is plenty to play for.
We’ve got big games coming up and I’ve said to the lads that the last nine games are cup finals
Bentley said: “There might be someone who comes out of the pack and gets on a late run.
“It’ll be a big ask for us now but we’re in a better position than last year and are on course to improve on last year. “There’s always something to play for.
“If you’re a defender you want to keep clean sheets, if you’re a forward you want to get your goals tally up.
“There’s always people who are willing to pay to come and watch you so there’s professional pride and things like that.
“We’ve got big games coming up and I’ve said to the lads that the last nine games are cup finals.”
Despite the disappointment of the reverses against Hartlepool and Shrewsbury, Bentley insists there is plenty to be positive about, especially when The Shrimps are compared with Saturday’s opponents.
He said: “It shows you how long a week is in football.
“Two defeats in the manner in which we got them, two hammer blows, gets everyone disappointed.
“The fact of the matter is at this stage of the season we’re closer to the play-offs than we are to relegation and it’s all still to play for.
“It’s mad that we’re getting a little bit of criticism when a club the size of Carlisle who were in the division above us last season are battling at the bottom.”
The Cumbrians are just three points clear of the Football League trap door but Bentley knows recording a first ever win over Carlisle will be no easy task.
He said: “We know it’ll be a tough game, they’ve just come off the back of a good win in midweek.
“They changed their manager earlier in the season and they’ve got good players.
“They’re fighting for their lives so it will be a tricky test for us.
“They’ve got to the 40-point mark now and maybe they’ll be looking at us thinking we’re a team they can claw back in the latter stages of the season.”