ANDY Tretton says his former club Hereford won't give up without a fight - but he is sure Accrington Stanley will last the pace at the top of the Conference.
The Bulls are 13 points behind the Reds with 12 games left and there is a huge clash between the two sides at Edgar Street a week on Saturday.
Graham Turner's side have reached the play-offs for the last two years - finishing second - and defender Tretton (right) thinks they will be in that lottery again.
"When I was with Hereford over the last couple of years, they have been up there," he said. "They have got some new faces in but a few of the players are still there and they will know how to handle the pressure of the games towards the end of the season.
"They have got to do a lot to catch us up - it is a turnaround of four or five games - but it is definitely not over.
"I would rather be in our position even though, perhaps, it is the most pressure.
"They are chasing and have nothing really to lose while it is ours to throw away.
"But everyone at this club has handled the pressure really well. They have kept their nerve well and we have just got to carry on.
"The play-offs would be hard for us now.
"It is because of the state of mind of finishing second and missing out.
"That is what has happened at Hereford in the last two seasons. They have been disappointed and you can't help but take that into the play-offs and it is usually the team who goes on a good run, who creeps into fifth place and is on a high, who tends to do well."
Tretton has come back following knee surgery after picking up an injury in pre-season just after signing for the Reds.
However, the player labelled "the best centre half in the Conference" by many is hoping to be back to his best soon.
The 29-year-old has played the last seven games - although knew he wasn't at his best in the lucky 2-1 victory over Burton.
"When you first come back from injury, you get through the first games on adrenaline but I felt leggy on Saturday.
"I have been quite happy with my form considering the length of time I was out but I have work to do on my fitness.
"I still feel frustrated with how much time I had out and the games I missed. But there is nothing I can do about it but look forward to the run-in."
He isn't surprised by Stanley's 16 league game unbeaten run with the quality of players on show at the Interlink but he says the big test will come if the Reds do slip up.
"Every game is a 'crunch clash' or a 'turning point' nowadays. We will do well to last out the season unbeaten although that, of course, is our aim.
"We have to ready for any set-back and be prepared to react well as we do not want to dip and lose two or three on the trot. If we do lose or have any kind of set back we have got to make sure we bounce back straight away."
And he hopes keeper Rob Elliot can maintain his form after some stunning saves in the last few games.
"He is only a young lad but has a tremendous prescence. The same goes for Darren Randolph earlier in the season.
"Charlton must have some really good keepers if they let those two go out on loan. He could easily play at a lot higher level and I am sure he will in the future."
But he has urged his team-mates to beware at relegation-haunted Crawley tomorrow (Sat) - as they will be out to spring a surprise.
"I remember going to Forest Green with Hereford last season and it was our toughest game of the season. The lower teams are always hard games and they will have decent support with people getting behind them as they battle at the bottom.
"It is an old cliche but there are no easy games in this league, teams just have more quality than others, but it is always going to be competitive."