SLOUGH Town joint manager Jon Underwood has challenged his side to keep themselves in the promotion race heading into a tough run of fixtures this week, writes Rob Stevens.

The Rebels consolidated second position in the National League South after a 1-1 draw with promotion rivals Havant & Waterlooville at Arbour Park on Saturday.

Underwood revealed the club is desperate to get promoted this season and the next three matches is arguably their most crucial period in the campaign so far.

Slough make the trip to Chelmsford City who despite standing in mid-table only have only lost twice at home in the league all season this Saturday (3pm).

The Rebels then face the reverse fixture at Havant next Wednesday (7.45pm) before a trip to take on sixth-in-the-table Dorking Wanderers on Saturday week.

READ MORE: Promotion rivals Slough Town and Havant & Waterlooville draw at Arbour Park

Underwood told the Observer: “Wealdstone have surprised us all in terms of their form and consistency because a lot of people expected Havant to win the league at the start of the season.

“The form of Wealdstone has been fantastic and they don’t look like dropping points. You feel the title is probably theirs to lose now.

Local Berkshire:

PHOTO: Slough Town (amber) captain Sam Togwell gets stuck in during the 1-1 draw with Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday.

“We won’t look at what Wealdstone are doing but obviously that will change if they lose two or three.

“We have to make sure we get into the play-offs because that’s not guaranteed yet and we’ll see how things pan out once we have that in the bag.”

Looking ahead to the final dozen games in the season Underwood said: “We’ve been consistent and have got to keep on doing what we have been, but we also know that we’re not going to win every game.

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“We have a really tough period coming up with three away games in a row within a week. If we’re still second or third after that run then we will be doing very well.

“Hopefully we’re still in the play-offs at that stage but there are no easy game because there are some really good sides in this league.

“We are desperate to get promoted so we’re not that relaxed but we are relaxed in the knowledge that we will not win all of these games.

“The key is to not dwell on a loss but rather how well you react, and we’ve been doing that well so far this season.

Local Berkshire:

PHOTO: Slough Town midfielder Warren Harris runs with the ball at his feet during the 1-1 draw with Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday.

“Sometimes we set points targets but when we do we never seem to hit them so there’s no reason to set one for this run of games. We will just try to win the all as we always do.

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“We’re in a good place in terms of the heath and fitness and form of the squad so if we can stay in and around second or third in the table then we will be pretty happy.

“Our focus now is on those teams below us and we hope that other sides can do us a favour like Oxford City beating Dorking Wanderers in midweek.”

On the trip to Chelmsford this Saturday, he added: “Chelmsford have a very good home record and it’s always a tough place to go.

“We won there 1-0 last season but really had to grind out a result and I suspect we will have to do the same again. There will probably be only one goal in it.

“We will focus on keeping a clean sheet and hope to get a goal – that’s how we approach every away game.”