ATTITUDES are changing at Gloucester City where – whisper it quietly – there is now more talk of play-off pushes than relegation scraps.
Only a last minute equaliser from title-chasing Guiseley prevented City from making it seven wins in nine games on Tuesday night as the Tigers' rich vein of form continues.
Play-off chasing Oxford City provide the opposition at Court Place Farm tomorrow as Blue Square Bet North gears up for its second southern derby of the season.
And while City will have taken great heart from their recent run – the Guiseley game included – there was no time for any collective back-patting after the game.
In fact, as a sign of the way attitudes have changed, boss Dave Mehew even adopted a ruthless approach with his squad in the dressing room after the game.
"Had we won they would have had the night off training on Thursday night, but we didn't see it through and they'll be in as usual," he said.
"We had a couple of chances to finish it off and we didn't keep it well enough up front when we had the man advantage.
"We would have taken a point before the game as they are a fantastic team, but we're a little bit disappointed not to have won the game."
Mehew bravely made four changes to his side for the visit of the Lions, opting to pick a particular side suited to nullifying the threat of the visitors.
Recalled midfielder Matt Liddiard performed ably in a central midfield three alongside talisman Tom Webb and playmaker Lewis Hogg.
Liddiard may return to loan club Bishop's Cleeve and not play for City at Oxford, but Mehew admits that he wants to have a long-term look at the talented teen, but only when City know their fate.
"Lidds came in and did really well and the deal is that he's still with Cleeve as he wants to play every weekend and that suits everyone," Mehew said.
"But if and when it's impossible for us to get in the play-offs, he'll come back lock, stock and barrel and we'll have a proper long-term look at him, because he looks capable.
"I picked a side and system specifically to combat Guiseley and it's good to have the options to change things around as I've got some good players.
"I've got an eye on what I want to do on Saturday as well and that could involve a few changes as well, but we'll have a think about that in the next day or so.
"But I've got options and I've said to the lads that we will chop and change a bit because of the amount of games we've got coming up, but we're in great form and it's working to an extent.
"We will have to go on a great run to get in the play-offs but if we win four of our five games in hand we are right in there – so we have to give it a go."