Full-back previews visit to Victoria ParkAhead of a visit to Hartlepool United, Grecians right-back Arron Davies feels that he and his City teammates will be concentrating exclusively on their own result during the 90 minutes – and will take a look at how other teams got on after the final whistle is sounded.
Even if Exeter win at Victoria Park, the play-offs would be out of reach if either Luton or Plymouth win in their games at Southend and at home against Tranmere respectively.
However if both teams drop points and the Grecians do record a victory, the League 2 season would go down to the final weekend and put City back in with a shout in the game against Dagenham & Redbridge on May 2nd.
But those calculations won’t be on the minds of the Exeter team this weekend, whose only focus will be on holding up their end of the bargain.
“I’m sure everyone is aware of who is playing who,” Arron said. “It is that time of year when you do have to keep an eye out on other results, as fans and staff on the sidelines.
“But as players, we’ll concentrate solely on our game and try to win it. It’ll be a tough game but it’s the sort of game you want to be involved in as a player.
“You’ve got to hope – I’m sure everyone has seen stranger things in football. You still have to believe and we still do believe as a squad and a staff that if we do win the two games, teams will drop points.
“At this time of year you want games to be worth something and aiming towards something, rather than just mediocre games where neither side has anything to play for and where you’re going through the motions.
“It’s not nice that it’s out of our hands but we’ve got to do the same as we’ve planned all along – and that’s win the two remaining games. Regardless of where we are in the league, we still want to win these two games.
“We go into Saturday positive that it’s going to be a good game. I imagine it’ll be a full house up there, because Hartlepool are fighting relegation to stay in the Football League. It’ll be a good turnout and I’m sure we’ll take a few fans as well, and they’ll get right behind us like they do.
“We’ll give it a massive effort – we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we can win, we’ll put a bit of pressure on the teams above us – all of the pressure is on them now and they know that they have to win and can’t afford to slip up, and hopefully we can act on that.
“They will have their own view on things in their camps, but there are no easy games at this time of the year.
“That would make it interesting – the pressure really will be on the other teams if we win our game and they drop points. Let’s try and set up an interesting last game of the season – what a game that would be.”
It isn’t just Exeter that have a lot riding on this fixture. Pools have an even bigger stake in getting the right result – they sit a point ahead of Cheltenham and two ahead of basement club Tranmere, but have an inferior goal-difference which could play its part if either of the chasing sides claw back to level on points.
Hartlepool have twice finished rock-bottom of the Football League – in 1960 and 1963 – but have never been relegated since joining the League in the Third Division (North) in 1921.
However there would be no reprieve this time if they finished amongst the bottom two, and Davies knows that Pools will be doing everything in their power to prevent kicking off the 2015/16 in the Conference for the first time in a long and proud history.
“Hartlepool are a massive club – I’ve played against them a lot of the time through my playing career, and in the last couple of years in League 2,” Davies said.
“I watched Ronnie Moore’s interview last week and he said that this was the biggest game in their history, and he’s probably right. It’s their last home game and they’re probably going to go for it.
“Saturday is a good game for us – Hartlepool will hopefully come out and try and play and have a go at us, and that might open up the game a bit.
“It’s the type of game you want to be involved in – it’ll be a good atmosphere and a full house, with everything to play for.”