Trevor Sinclair insists Lancaster City still have everything to play for this season.
The Dolly Blues’ rich vein of form continued with a fine 2-0 win at nine-man leaders Salford on Saturday.
It leaves City 11 points outside the Evo-Stik First Division North play-offs with 11 games to go with Sinclair challenging the players to keep up their slim hope of a play-off place and lay down a marker for next season.
Lancaster travel to second in the table Darlington on Wednesday night.
Assistant boss Sinclair, who covered for unwell manager Darren Peacock at Salford, said: “One stat I saw was that in the last 12 games we’re second in the league behind Mossley who’re also on a great run.
“And in that time we’ve only conceded six goals.
“The lads have really bought into the way me and Darren are trying to get them to play.
“We’ve got 12 games to go and we’ll take every game as it comes but if we keep up the form from the start of the year you never know.
“It’s a big ask. But even if we do miss out then we’ll lay down a marker of our intentions for next season.”
The victory at Salford was a commanding one with Sinclair reserving special praise for striker Matty Poole in a fine team effort.
Sinclair said: “I thought we dominated the game from start to finish and put in a fantastic performance against a top side.
“Every member of the team is playing to capacity.
“Matty Poole is an example of that.
“He had a couple of games where he wasn’t 100 per cent fit and maybe didn’t play as well as he did when he first came here.
We’ve got 12 games to go and we’ll take every game as it comes but if we keep up the form from the start of the year you never know
“But the penny’s dropped and he played out of his skin against Salford and was probably our man of the match.
“He covered every blade of grass.
“He came here with a good reputation at a lower level and he’s living up to it.”
The former England winger was also keen to emphasise how important team spirit has been in City’s revival since the turn of the year.
He said: “The shape and the team spirit has been outstanding.
“The players are really working hard for each other and it reminds me of when I first learned about shape when I went to QPR.
“They’ve taken everything on board.
“Experienced players like Neil Marshall and Garry Hunter are key for us at the moment in that.
“But we’re doing it as a team from back to front.”
Boss Peacock continues to battle a virus that has kept him out of action since the Scarborough game on February 28.
Sinclair said: “He’s still struggling with a virus.
“I’m talking to him day to day so he’s still very much involved.
“He’s just sick and can’t get out of bed.”