ALAN Knill is confident his players have it in them to mount one last effort to claim an automatic promotion place.

It is going to be a nervy Saturday afternoon for the Shakers, who need to beat Accrington Stanley to stand a strong chance of leapfrogging either Exeter or Wycombe in the race for League One.

Failure to spring back into the top three will leave Bury facing the play-offs, the first game being next Thursday, but Knill is backing his side to finish the job sooner rather than later.

“It’s been a big game every Saturday for a while now,” said Knill. “And I haven’t seen any signs in the players that they are feeling the stress of it all.

“Hopefully it will be the same against Accrington and we can go out and win the match.

“We’re on an excellent run, we have only lost three matches in 2009, so we’re in decent form and it’s about taking it into the last game.

“The players are bright and sharp in training, but you never know what they are going to be like until the whistle goes for kick-off.”

Knill is hoping his former club Rotherham will do Bury a favour and beat Exeter, and he is also counting on his own supporters playing a big part.

“Rotherham manager Mark Robins said they want to finish third in the league — if they add on the 17 points they had taken off them at the start of the season,” said the Bury boss.

“So I’m sure they will be going all out for it.

“Hopefully the ground will be full on Saturday too, because that’s the big thing for us. I have said many times that we need more people to come and support, but the only way we are going to get them here is if the product is good on the pitch — and we think we have done a fairly good job. “It’s important they get behind the players and there is no apprehension. They just need to be loud and cheer the players on and, hopefully, we’ll all be celebrating.”

The play-offs are looming if results do go against the Gigg Laners, but Knill added: “The season is not over if automatic promotion doesn’t happen — we have a second chance.

“I don’t know if that takes the pressure off that we have got a play-off place because we are all of the idea that we want it finishing as soon as possible.

“If it doesn’t happen, however, we have plenty in our squad to compete with the other teams in the play-offs.”

Knill has a full-strength squad to choose from, with skipper Paul Scott returning to training following injury.