TOWN manager Lee Clark is urging his buoyant players to take a “fantastic opportunity”.
As his side look to extend their unbeaten run in League I to 25 games against Brentford at the Galpharm today, Clark has emphasised the play-off prize that awaits.
“We know that one opportunity has probably gone (automatic promotion), but there is still a fantastic opportunity to go for,” said Clark, inset.
“There is the chance to play at one of the most prestigious club stadiums in world football at Old Trafford.
“That is not the type of opportunity that should be given up lightly, and the players understand that target is there to go for.”
The final will be played at Manchester United’s ‘Theatre of Dreams’ on Sunday, May 29, but Clark will not be allowing any talk of the play-offs until the League I campaign is concluded this afternoon.
“I will not be talking to the players about the play-offs until the Brentford game is over,” said Clark.
“And I am not going to be thinking about the play-offs until 5 o’clock when it is decided who we will be playing.
“Then we can get the dossiers out as we have already watched the teams we could be facing on numerous occasions.
“For the last six to eight weeks we have looked at our potential play-off situation.
“We wanted to gain automatic promotion but we knew that if that didn’t happen we had to be looking at the teams who were competing for the play-off places.”
Town, who would have to overturn a 17-goal difference to pip Southampton for second spot, will finish third, but Clark says they can take nothing for granted in the post-season knockout.
“We are confident, but what you have to realise is that we are playing cup football from here on in,” he said.
“You have got to have the desire to handle the situation, but it is not always the team who finishes third who is the successful one in the play-offs.”