Jamie Vermiglio says Stockport fans would have classed their season as a failure had they not be challenging his Chorley side and Spennymoor Town for the National League North title.
County’s 3-2 midweek win over Southport saw them join Vermiglio’s league leaders on 60 points.
The Magpies have a game in hand and a superior goal difference over Jim Gannon’s side, who are on a 14-game unbeaten run.
But it is far from a two-horse race with Spennymoor Town on a six game wining spree and four points off the Magpies with a game in hand.
Vermiglio’s side are looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat at Alfreton when they host Ashton United on Saturday.
And he is confident Chorley will finish the season strongly as he relishes the battle ahead in the final 12 games.
“Stockport and Spennymoor deserve a lot of credit to go on such a amazing runs recently,” said the Magpies boss.
“They’ve kept in touch and it’s going to make the final 12 games very exciting for everyone involved. It was always the expectation from everyone that Stockport would be title contenders – if they weren’t then their season would have been a failure to the majority of their fans.
“For Spennymoor and for us in particular, neutrals would never have imagined us being where we are at this stage.
“We deserve as much credit as anyone for getting to where we are and I’m confident that the group of players we have are strong enough to finish the season well.”
The Magpies now face a Victory Park double header as they welcome Ashton United this weekend and Nuneaton Borough on Tuesday night.
“They are very winnable but they are also very loseable – no game is easy,” said Vermiglio.
“On paper to someone who does not know this league they will have us written down for six points but we know that is not the case. We need to be at our best.
“It is a good opportunity with two home games to get six points on the board. It is something we are going to be aiming for.
“There are 12 games left now, 36 points to play for and every single one of them will be going on to the pitch looking for every single point like we have done all season.
“So far we have collected 60 points which is a great achievement.
“We were all sitting here last year saying where would we be now? I don’t think any of us would have believed it.
“Some of the clubs around there that are picking up points and on a good run we just need to look after ourselves.
Midfielder Elliot Newby (hamstring) is expected to be back in contention on Saturday after missing the Alfreton clash.