RENFREW face a make-or-break promotion clash with East Kilbride this afternoon ... and co-boss Martin Ferry insists they’ll go for the jugular.
The Western Parkers need to win their final SuperLeague First Division fixture at Thistle’s Showpark home and hope that Kilsyth Rangers and Shotts Bon Accord slip up.
Renfrew sit one point above Kilsyth but their promotion rivals still have two games left.
But there is also the outside danger that Renfrew could finish outside the top-two automatic promotion spots and even the play-off place that comes with a third-place finish should Shotts go on a late run.
The Lanarkshire side are eight points adrift of Ferry’s men but still have an astonishing NINE games to play – giving them plenty of scope to reign in the chasing pack.
Three points, today, however would strengthen Renfrew’s hand and co-manager Ferry – who shares dugout duties with Colin Clark – said: “We are setting ourselves up to go and win the game – just as we always do.
“Without a doubt, this is the biggest game of our season. It’s a must-win.
“But when we see what Kilsyth have still got to do, then the pressure is on them. They have got to win their last two games but we need to get that last win as well to heap even more pressure on them.
“If we can finish above Kilsyth, then we at least know the worst we can finish is third and then hope that Shotts blow up with all the games they have got left.”
Renfrew go into today’s clash with EK Thistle on the back of a mixed week that saw them follow up a narrow defeat away to Girvan with a resounding win over Dalry Thistle at home.
But Ferry added: “The boys are up for it. They know what is at stake. We got a reaction from Saturday’s loss to Girvan, when we played well below par.
“But we gave the boys an opportunity to show us that is was just a one-off on Wednesday night and, in the end, the 4-1 scoreline flattered Dalry because it could have been much more.
“We will want the boys to go for the jugular because goal difference could very well play a part a major factor.”
The fact Renfrew are even in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League return is testament to the determination of their squad.
Just two months ago, they were more concerned with securing their survival as a relegation fight loomed.
But now they are on the brink of a return to the top flight five years after they tumbled out.
“At the start of the season, if you had said to me that we would be going into our last game vying for promotion, I’d have bitten your hand off,” said Ferry.
“This has been our best-ever points tally since Colin and I took over.
“But that still might not be enough – it shows just how tough this league is.”
Key to their turnaround has been ace marksman Willie Sawyers, who has now rattled 40 goals this term.
Ferry insists the odds of holding onto the former Clyde striker would be boosted by promotion, but is honest enough to admit the 27-year-old’s talents deserve higher recognition than the junior game can offer.
“Willie has scored 40 goals now but he has been helped by the rest of the team and could not have done it without them,” he said.
“But there’s no doubt, Willie has been unreal this term.
“And our chances of keeping hold of him would be helped hugely if we get promotion.
“However, Colin and I realise he due to go onto better things.
“If he is going to move on, it has to be to the seniors and I will do everything I can to get help him. If he stays here, though, I’d be more than delighted.”
Kick-off for today’s Showpark clash between EK Thistle and Renfrew is at 2pm.
Latest William Hill odds: East Kilbride 11/5, Renfrew 5/6, draw 11/4.