Notts County’s Blair Adams believes the whole squad is fighting for their futures in football.
Adams, who made 15 appearances for county neighbours Mansfield Town earlier in the season, has been a consistent presence for the Magpies in recent weeks.
Notts picked up a first win in four last weekend at Newport County and will be hoping to finish their campaign in similar style on Saturday at home to Carlisle.
Adams said: “In a season where we have been largely criticised for a lack of leadership and grit, and rightly so, we showed on Saturday at Newport that we are capable of grinding out results. It was the kind of determined, battling away performance that has been missing for large chunks of this campaign.
“The lads’ minds are certainly not yet on the summer holidays. The whole squad is fighting for their futures in football, whether it be playing to impress potential employers or convincing Mark Cooper we’re good enough to be at Notts County next season.
“Saturday’s win puts the team on course to meet a target of six points from the final two games to finish the season on a high.
“We were well aware of the dismal state of their pitch ahead of the game and knew it wouldn’t be possible to get the ball down and play. The training week was therefore spent working on a game plan to overcome that.
“It wasn’t pretty on the eye, but the Gaffer encouraged myself and Elliott Hewitt to hit diagonal balls up to Alan Smith and Jon Stead at every opportunity and play off the seconds.
“We knew we could pump the ball up to those two and it would stick, and those tactics worked as, in the first half, an inviting long ball forward was fumbled by Newport’s goalkeeper which created the chance for Genaro to put us in front.
“At half time we said we must maintain the standards we had set and not capitulate like we have done in the second half of some games recently. I always felt we had control of the game and in the final 20 minutes we coped well with Newport throwing bodies up front, as they chased an equaliser.
“As a defender, a clean sheet is equivalent to a striker scoring a goal and I’ve always said that 1-0 away wins are the most satisfying results. Especially the games where the fans have travelled admirable distances to support the players. We haven’t rewarded the fans with enough of them this season.”
And added: “Our attentions turn to Carlisle on Saturday now. If we perform with the same level of desire and effort as Saturday, we will give the fans something to cheer about in the final game of the season and send them away to prepare for what is sure to be a more successful year for Notts County next season.”