BOURNEMOUTH boss Will Croker is backing his charges to keep their cool under the pressure of a pulsating run-in.

Lions are bidding to secure the second-place play-off spot in South West Premier and are in the driving seat ahead of rivals Maidenhead and Newton Abbot.

With four regular league fixtures remaining, they host Maidenhead in a crunch encounter at Chapel Gate on Saturday (3pm) – a battle which could prove season-defining.

Head coach Croker told the Daily Echo: “We have a saying about trying to make sure we maintain fast feet, big hearts and cool heads. That sums up our run-in.

“We have to be quicker across the turf, braver in the contact and more intelligent in the cerebral part.

“There is a lot of experience in the side, of course some youngsters have come in and done themselves proud to help freshen things up.

“But the long and short of it is we have the likes of Alan Manning, Luca Firetto, Richard Sharp, Jack Hennings, Joe Rees and Sam Hardcastle.

“They are all guys who have played more than 300 first-team games, whether that is for Bournemouth or other clubs before they got to us.

“We have bucket-loads of experience and they will tell you it comes down to processes. We have to make sure our processes are right.

“Yes, there will be emotion, nerves and tension. When that hits, you have to rely on the processes you have in place and your fundamentals to deliver your basics accurately.

“Once you do that it breeds confidence among everybody else. They can see everybody is on their game and following the same pattern. Nobody is going to go off and do something renegade or stupid.

“We have to be able to apply pressure and keep the ball for long periods to make the opposition crack.”

Lions suffered a heavy 52-30 loss on Maidenhead’s 3G surface earlier in the campaign.

But the visitors have struggled on their travels, having only won twice on the road from 11 attempts.

“We got an absolute pasting up there and it was one of the few times this season where we never looked at the races,” added Croker.

“It’s a team we are looking forward to playing against because we want to get a little bit of retribution.

“From the players’ perspective they will feel they owe them one. From a coaching stance you try to be a little more pragmatic about it.

“Ultimately, the biggest way to hurt them is by winning the game and pulling clear in second, that has to be our focus.”