Manager Grant McCann insists it’s vital for Peterborough United to stay in touch with the League One leaders during a tough run of fixtures in October.
Posh, who led the table briefly in August, are fifth after two defeats on the spin and their inactivity last weekend.
The gap between Posh and the top two is now up to eight points. McCann’s men are only three points clear of 14th-placed MK Dons, although they now have a game in hand on several teams.
“The league is as tight as I felt it would be at the start of the season,” McCann stated.
“The gap to the top two has grown quickly and obviously we don’t want it to get any bigger. Teams have closed up behind us as well so it’s important we get back to winning ways on Saturday (October 14).
“We had a great August, but a disappointing September. October looks tough, but we can beat everyone in this division if we are at the top of our game.”
Posh have four League One games in October. Saturday’s home match with managerless Gillingham is by far and away the easiest on paper.
Posh then travel to Southend next Tuesday (October 17) before visiting Scunthorpe (21st) and hosting League One leaders Shrewsbury (October 28th).
It’s looking unlikely the Gills will have replaced sacked manager Ady Pennock before this weekend. Former England coach, and a one-time Posh coach, Peter Taylor also left the club this morning leaving coach Steve Lovell in charge at the ABAX Stadium.
“Gillingham is a tricky game,” McCann added. “They won’t come here and lie down.
“They are desperate for points and if they do have a new manager in place before they come here, they will be even harder to beat. A new manager would give them a lift.
“But as always it’s all about what we do on the day. The players had last weekend off and they have returned refreshed and raring to go.
“We need to get back to what we were doing well at the start of the season and that means organised defence and a good tempo going forward.”
There’s a chance summer signing Danny Lloyd could make his first League One start on Saturday after a promising, and goalscoring, performance against Northampton in the Checkatrade Trophy last time out.
Gillingham are understood to have approached Wansford-based Mansfield manager Steve Evans to take over from Pennock in the long term.
Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry has also been placed in the frame alongside former Crystal Palace boss Keith Millen.
But Gillingham chairman Paul Scally said: “I am meeting potential candidates for the manager’s job on a daily basis.
“I am aware of the names that have been circulating but I don’t expect there to be an announcement for at least another week. It’s an appointment we have to get right.”