Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon is wary of a tough task ahead when his side meet Newport County in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 3pm kick-off.
Rovers will compete under the arch for a third year in a row against Michael Flynn’s Exiles with a place in Sky Bet League One next term awaiting the winners.
Tranmere, who overcame Forest Green Rovers 2-1 on aggregate over two legs to reach the Play-Off Final, are aiming for a back-to-back promotion, and Mellon feels both sides deserve to be there, and he expects a tough battle on the day.
Mellon said: “It will be a really tough, contested game, it has been every time that we have played Newport, they have done fantastic as well to get to this stage to contest the last place, so great credit to both clubs.
“We know it’s going to be tough and we know that we’ll have to play well, and Newport will know that they have to as well.
“We’re excited but contained to make sure we’ll try and hit the levels that we know are necessary for us being ready for Saturday so we need to try and gauge that and get it right because we haven’t had a game, the same as Newport, for two weeks now and it’s now trying to hit those levels and get the boys as prepared as we possibly can.
“I don’t think we set any targets. I think that we always said that. We didn’t really have anything to measure it on because we had so many players that hasn’t played an awful lot in the Football League but I knew they were good players, I definitely knew that we had a mentality and a team spirit that would make us very competitive.
“We knew around February or March time that the picture would emerge of what prize that we were going to be fighting for or not and as the season unfolded, that’s what happened and we are very grateful that our performances were good enough to get us into a Play-Off Final that will be contest the last remaining place out of the division.
“I think we have learned awful lot. I think the first time that we went to Wembley, I’ve said before for myself and the rest of Tranmere, the impact it would have on a group that hadn’t been there before, so we learnt an awful lot about that.
“We are familiar there now and there is less to concentrate on in terms of the environment and it is as important as focusing on the game as that’s all we can effect.
“We’ll go down there and be able to concentrate more on what is important for us as a team and that’s the performance of the group and we need to make sure we get that right and if we do that that will be enough.”
The Scot, who guided TRFC to a sixth-placed finish in their first campaign back in the EFL, is looking forward to seeing the SWA descend on the capital to get behind Rovers.
He added: “It’s terrific that you’re able to, as managers and players, have a responsibility that you have to get your fanbase and your football club into situations like this because this their football club, these are the days that they will never forget and to give them one of them days to go to Wembley and see their Club playing at Wembley is fantastic.
“It will be brilliant to see them go down there in their massive numbers to Wembley because that’s surely every fans dream is to see their club contesting massive matches at Wembley.”