Chesterfield midfielder Robbie Weir admitted Saturday’s monumental game at fellow League Two strugglers Grimsby Town feels like a cup final for the Spireites.
With other results going their way after Easter Monday’s visit of Newport County was postponed, Chesterfield head to Blundell Park four points from safety with three games in hand on the plummeting Mariners, who are one place above them.
So the importance of Saturday’s showdown is plain for all to see.
“This is our biggest game of the season so far without a doubt,” said Weir.
“Every game is big between now and the end of the season. But if you had to pick one game this one would be the cup final.
“They’re four points ahead of us, so if we can get the three points against them, that minimises the gap to one point with three games in hand. It’s in our favour but it’s up to us to take this opportunity we’ve got.”
Grimsby have been in freefall since early December so, despite having the worst away record in the division, Chesterfield will be encouraged by the Mariners’ awful form.
However, Weir warned: “They haven’t won in 20 matches, but form does go out the window in games like these as both of us are in a bad situation. If they beat us they know the gap will widen, so this game is huge.
“There is massive pressure on Saturday. But we are the lads who are playing. We have put ourselves in this situation and we have to deal with it.
“We need to go there and play our game and, if we turn up the way we turned up against Notts County, I don’t think we’ll have a problem.
“But we can’t expect anything less. We expected a big performance against Port Vale and it didn’t quite come off.
“With the games we have in hand and the results elsewhere again going for us, everything is going for us.
“So it’s time for everyone here to step up and give everything they’ve possibly got and we will hopefully be okay.”
Chesterfield lost 2-1 to an agonising late goal at relegation rivals Port Vale on Good Friday, despite the home side having had Danny Pugh sent off.
Then the Easter Monday home clash with Newport County was called off just after noon due to the weather.
“It was a frustrating Easter,” said Weir.
“We dropped more points that we should have picked up, but the other results went for us yet again and it’s still all in our hands to take care of the matter.
“It was frustrating to lose at Port Vale, especially when they were down to 10 men and we wanted to put things right on Monday. Then the game was called off late on.
“Nut it did give us a rest and a chance to regroup ahead of the big game against Grimsby.
“The most important thing now is to close the gap on them and what better way than playing against them?”