Chorley FC boss Garry Flitcroft insists the pressure is on Chester to keep up their title bid for the Evo-Stik First Division North.
The former Blackburn Rovers midfielder believes that the current pace-setters could slip up again after their surprise 2-1 defeat to Lancaster City at the weekend.
Flitcroft is also confident the Magpies can maintain their current good form against Cammell Laird at home on Saturday.
He said: “A few weeks ago, the gap between Chester and us was about 12 or 13 points, but I did not rule us out of the races.
“We knew that Chester would slip up and we had to keep plugging away so we could pick up on their mistakes.
“There are still lots of games to be won, and Skelmersdale United and us have to keep putting pressure on Chester.
“Chester are top of the league, so everyone wants to beat them so it is going to be harder.”
Jamie Vermiglio and Jack Dorney have returned to the Chorley squad after injury – and Flitcroft believes his team are well-placed for a final push.
He said: “When you look back to our early season form, Jamie and Wayne Maden were helping us to victories.
“Mado is out for the rest of the season, but Jamie has come back and he is great in terms of his experience.
“He brings a lot to the dressing room and is very vocal.
“I wanted him to join Chorley and I know that he is capable of playing at a higher level.
“I think we are lucky to have him on board.”
In-form left-back Tom Walker could be ruled out for up to a month with injury, and may not play against Cammell Laird. Flitcroft said: “Cammell Laird are in the bottom half of the table, but it is not going to be easy.
“I am hoping for a big crowd down at Chorley on Saturday, and these are the games we have to win if we want to stay in the race.”
Flitcroft has been impressed by the recent form of his strikers, who have scored five of the club’s last seven league goals.
He believes new signing Steve Foster has played a key role in their recent form.
He said: “Over the past few years, Steve has been a prolific goalscorer with other non-league clubs, so when we signed him it sent out a message to other teams.
“He has scored a few for us too, and I think our strikers have picked up their form, with John Cunliffe and Adam Roscoe scoring.
“Then we have players such as Jordan Stepien, Matt Jansen and Mark Houghton waiting to come in.”