Forest Green Rovers manager Ady Pennock says National League rivals Cheltenham Town “have one hand on the trophy”.
Cheltenham beat struggling Guiseley 2-0 on Saturday to move six points clear of Rovers, who could only manage a 1-1 draw at play-off chasing Braintree.
Pennock’s side are already assured of at least a place in the play-offs, with three games left to play this season.
“We’ve got to keep playing well and make sure that we’re going into the play-offs in good form,” he said.
“Being realistic, and fair play to Cheltenham, they’ve been consistent enough, so it’s not mathematically impossible but I think they’ve got one hand on the trophy.
“Of course we want to win every game, but it’s impossible. I said to the players we’ve got to keep our heads up, keep focused and keep pushing on.”
Forest Green lost to Bristol Rovers in the semi-finals of last season’s play-offs after finishing fifth in the Conference, the highest final league position in the club’s history.