Jon Brady knows his former players will show Brackley Town no sympathy in their battle for survival this Saturday.
The Saints, who are one place and two points above the relegation zone, know a win this weekend will ensure they remain in Vanarama Conference North for another season.
But their final-day opponents are a Hednesford Town team contatining the likes of Glenn Walker, Steve Diggin and Marvin Robinson.
Those men were key members of last season’s Brackley squad, with Brady forced to lose them due to budget restraints.
And he is now hoping they don’t come back to haunt his side.
“I didn’t want to let them go but it’s the problem you face when the club decided what it wanted to do,” said Brady.
“You can’t let your best players leave if you want to succeed, but we did.
“I can’t see them having any sympathy for us and there will be no sentiment on either side on Saturday.”
But Brady is refusing to worry about what the opposition can produce, with the Brackley boss showing full belief in his players.
Morale has been lifted by recent results, with the Saints picking up seven points from the past nine on offer.
And Brady said: “Everyone at the club has worked so hard to get the club to this level.
“We’ve got one more hurdle to negotiate but I’m sure we can do it.
“The supporters have got behind the club when we’ve needed them to and we will need them again on Saturday to help us over the line.”
Even if Brackley don’t beat Hednesford, their survival will be secured if Colwyn Bay lose at Worcester City.
But Brady is refusing to rely on other results.
He said: “Worcester City have got a great home record but Colwyn Bay have only lost three on the road, so we must try and win the game.
“We can’t rely on what is happening elsewhere, we’ve just got to go out and do our job on Saturday.
“We’ve hit form at the right time but having some our more experienced players, like Curtis McDonald, Frank Sinclair and Own Story, back has made a big difference.
“I’ve always believed we could get out of it, now it’s in our own hands and we have the opportunity to finish the job off on Saturday.”
Northants FA gave Brackley special dispensation to play their development side in Tuesday’s NFA Hillier Senior Cup final against Peterborough Northern Star at Sixfields.
That meant Brady would not see any of his players pick up injuries before Saturday, although Will Green was in the team.
Brady added: “The NFA has been really helpful to the club.
“They want us to remain in the Conference and know how important it is for us to have a full squad available.”