DESPITE still being top of the NPL West Division, Warrington Rylands boss Dave McNabb now expects his side will have to earn promotion via the play-offs.

Blues go into the Easter weekend one point clear of second-placed Workington, with whom they shared a 1-1 draw in Cumbria on Saturday.

A trip to neighbours 1874 Northwich on Easter Monday is their only game this weekend but before then, they will have to anxiously wait to see if their title hopes remain alive.

Workington’s game in hand – to be played on Saturday away at fourth-placed Marine – means Rylands’ title hopes are out of their control.

Given their final two games are against the already-relegated pair of Kendal Town and Market Drayton Town, a win on Merseyside looks likely to effectively hand Reds the title.

McNabb expects that to be the case but says his players must concentrate on their own jobs, whether it means finishing top or among the play-off spots.

“Workington are a very good side and I expect them to go and win their last three games,” he said.

“I don’t think we had any right to be in this title race, first and foremost.

“The lads’ performances over the last eight or nine games have been second to none, and that’s what has put us in a position where we had a glimmer of hope.

“That door has been shut a little bit. Our job is to win these next two games, and then two more after that if required.

“We know what our jobs are and what we need to do, and we’re still in good form.”

A factor that could come into play is Rylands’ goal difference, which at +56 is significantly better than all of their rivals.

As such, a draw between Marine and Workington would put Blues’ fate back in their own hands ahead of their trip to Northwich, which kicks off at 3pm on Monday.