Rob Scott urges Grimsby Town stars to earn their Wembley spots
IF Grimsby Town's players want to line up at Wembley, they're going to have to earn the right.
That's the message from joint boss Rob Scott as the Mariners continue their push for promotion, with March 24's FA Trophy showpiece against Wrexham on the horizon.
Including tomorrow night's Conference encounter at Forest Green Rovers (7.45pm), Town have five league matches before attentions turn to the final.
Those games – spread across just 15 days – could make or break their bid for automatic promotion back to the Football League.
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And, although Scott wants complete focus on the league throughout that period, he admits the final can be used as an incentive to spur his players on.
"To walk out at Wembley in the starting XI, you've got to perform between now and the final, so that's their motivation to stay in the team," Scott said.
"And if they get their chance from the bench, they need to show us that they are capable of staying in the team and walking out at Wembley.
"There are a lot of games between now and then that we need to win – they have to keep playing well to be in the squad.
"They've been exceptional in getting us there, but that's it now until such time as we have notification about how many tickets they get and everything else.
"But we'll take care of all that – the players have got to concentrate on playing.
"To be fair to the players, they've not mentioned it and we've put it to bed now."
Scott believes concentrating on the number one priority – the Blue Square Bet Premier title – won't be a problem for his squad.
"They are very level-headed and they know there is a bigger prize at the end of it," he commented.
"Yes, we want to win at Wembley but the bigger picture is promotion.
"They all want to be Football League players. They've either been there before and have dropped to this level, or they've come from lower down and want to be league players.
"Everybody wants to play in the Football League and, as a manager, you obviously want to manage in the Football League.
"You want to move up the ladder as far as you possibly can to test yourself."
He continued: "If you look at the recent League Cup final, there were probably three or four of the Swansea City squad who had played in League Two, and now they're playing in the Premier League.
"It's not unachievable in this day and age. The way things have moved on and how players look after themselves, it's not unachievable if you've got a little bit of quality about you.
"These players want to play higher up and they want to win every game they go into, there's no doubt about that.
"The Football League is the main priority and we'll be striving to get there."