GARY ROBERTS is just itching for a first taste of the play-offs.
The skilful 26-year-old has been a promotion-winner in the past, but he’s never had experience of the post-season knockout.
With Town heading to Brentford tomorrow placed sixth in the table and three points ahead of their nearest rivals, Roberts is not yet ready to give up on automatic promotion and very confident Town have what it takes should it eventually come to a battle between third, fourth, fifth and sixth.
“We have got so many match winners in our squad that on our day, I don’t reckon there is any better team in this division,” said Roberts, who set up Theo Robinson for his second goal in the 2-0 win over Oldham and stands among the leaders on assists for League I.
“I’m really confident about what’s ahead because I think we’ve got the capability to win any game.
“The fans were getting a bit edgy the other night, which is understandable because we weren’t producing our best football, but we showed we could scrap it out when we had to and we got the right result, which was all-important.
“Fair enough, we didn’t show too much flair and we’ve got a lot of flair players, but we showed a lot of grit and determination against a team who are fighting for their lives and we came out of it with three points.
“There have been plenty of occasions this season when we haven’t got our just desserts, so maybe our luck is changing a little bit on that score and it’s not before time.”
Roberts is eager to get back among the goals himself – his last strike was the equaliser against Leeds United in February – but he’s delighted with how Theo Robinson has taken his chance since Lee Novak suffered his knee injury.
“Theo is scoring some important goals for us and it’s great to see,” said Roberts, last season’s leading scorer.
“He’s got four in four and, even against Oldham when he missed a chance after his first goal, he showed a lot of character to keep putting himself in there and eventually came up with a vital second for us.
“Theo can be a really big influence for us in the run-in. He’s into the teens of goals (13) and for someone who’s not made that many starts, his record is fantastic.
“He is a genuine goalscorer. Sometimes people might get a bit frustrated with the odd chance that goes astray, but his finishes against Oldham were great and showed what he is capable of.
“To have him playing well and Lee Novak and Robbie Simpson working to get back as well for the end of the season, we can have a right good go at it.”
Town wingman Lionel Ainsworth, who is on loan to Brentford, cannot be involved tomorrow as part of the agreement between the two clubs.
Roberts added: “I know it’s a cliche, but we really are taking it just one game at a time.
“The lads obviously know what we’ve got left to play, and while Millwall and Colchester are on the radar, both those games are at home in front of our own fans, they will be packed houses and we’ve lost only once here all season.
“Away from home we’ve got some tough tests, we know that, but we are full of confidence and we are very resilient at the moment.
“We are proving very stubborn at the back and we look a really good outfit on our travels – very strong.
“I don’t see why we can’t win every game, wherever it takes place, and we are not just looking at sixth place, we want to be higher. The results recently have been massive for us, especially Colchester losing when they are challenging for sixth place, but the most important results have been our own. We’re happy.”
Referee tomorrow is Andy Hall (West Midlands), who last had Town in last season’s 3-2 home defeat by Leicester City.