Worcestershire assistant coach Matt Mason has stressed the importance of tomorrow's LV = County Championship clash with visiting Glamorgan at New Road – and keeping the other contenders at bay in the fight for promotion.
Surrey's home win over Leicestershire reduced the gap between themselves and second placed Worcestershire to 18 points although skipper Daryl Mitchell's side do have a game in hand.
Glamorgan are also in the shake-up to go up from Division Two but Mason has faith in the county's players and points out that only rain denied them away victories over the Welsh side and Surrey earlier in the campaign.
Mason said: "We recognise this is a big game with Surrey having won their game in the week. They have played one more but have closed the gap on the top two teams down to 17-18 points.
"We see it as an opportunity to keep the bridge between second and third place. We've still got a lot of cricket to go so every game is important.
"We can't sit back and rest on our laurels.
"Glamorgan are a tough team, we couldn't quite force the win against them earlier in the year, so it would be nice to do that in this game.
"We've got to try and protect the points gap that there is but one or two results either way and it's all very close again."
Mason knows Worcestershire will have to combat the threat of Australian paceman Michael Hogan.
He said: "The big change for them will be Michael Hogan coming back into the side. He is a class bowler. I would say he is up there with the best bowler in the division.
"He is a great performer and he challenges your left handers. I know Moeen (Ali) finds him tricky and he is a class bowler so we will have to do well against him.
"But the weather did cost us in the game down there, as it did against Surrey, although we can't think too much about that. We've got to focus on what is coming up."