STEVE ROBERTS has called on Pickering Town to thrive on the pressure of tomorrow's crucial bottom-of-the-table clash against Kendal Town.

As they have been for the majority of the campaign, Pickering are languishing at the bottom of the BetVictor Northern Premier League north/west division table.

The Pikes are five points adrift of safety, with the nearest side above them being Kendal, this weekend's visitors to Mill Lane.

With just 10 league matches remaining after this weekend, the match is a huge one for Pickering in their quest to escape the sole relegation place.

Manager Roberts admitted that the game was a big one for his side, but called for some perspective upon the potential pressure of the occasion.

"It is a really big game and it's one that we've got to look to win," he said.

"There is pressure on the game, but I'm a big believer that there are bigger pressure out there in life.

"We're playing a game of football at the end of the day and we've got to be able to thrive off that pressure and not let it hinder us and our performance.

"We've got the chance to effect that result if we have that right mindset. Playing at home, we should be able to dictate the play as well.

"I've no issues about us not being able to win the game.

"We shouldn't find that pressure to be hard, we've got to be able to enjoy it.

"It's in our hands and we're able to effect the situation.

Following the sacking of Denny Ingram at the turn of the year, Roberts walked into a dressing room that had only won three league games since August.

He insisted that the players have been in a positive frame of mind ever since his arrival at the club.

"The players have been really positive," he said. "It's never easy for a group when there's a new manager coming in, especially as Denny was a familiar voice, having been there for a number of years.

"The players have responded well and they've bought into the changes that I've looked to make.

"I've tried to make things a bit more professional in how I want things done, with different methods in training.

"In every session, they've put in the maximum amount of effort and they've togetherness to stick together."

Roberts has been in charge of seven games so far, leading the side to a win over Ossett United and a commendable draw at Clitheroe in his first three matches. Four straight defeats have since followed.

"We've got a big task and it is a tough challenge," Roberts reflected.

"We've still got the belief that we can get out of the situation that we're currently in.

"We've played well in recent games and been very close to getting points.

"There's positives there, it's just about turning those into points now.

Elsewhere in the division, Tadcaster Albion will be looking to end their winless run as they travel to third-placed Marine.

Tadcaster haven’t won any of their last six league matches and find themselves in sixth, one point off the play-offs.

Meanwhile, Selby Town could go top of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League division one table, should they defeat Ollerton Town on the road and leaders Winterton Rangers lose at East Hull.