Rotherham United v Bury: Promotion will be a test of nerve – Knill

League two: ALAN KNILL is predicting a tight finish in the League Two automatic promotion race ahead of today's return to former club Rotherham United.

Bury are the visitors to the Don Valley for a game that has potentially huge significance for both clubs due to just two points separating the Shakers in fourth place from their hosts in sixth.

Knill said: "It is so tight near the top that anyone in the top seven or eight will fancy their chances of winning automatic promotion.

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"A lot of the teams are pretty evenly matched so maybe we shouldn't be surprised it is so tight.

"It is always a tense time because so much is at stake and I doubt many teams are playing with the freedom of a couple of months ago."

Knill, in charge of Rotherham for two years from 2005, knows all about the pressure – and potential heartache – that comes with a promotion race in the basement division.

Last season, his Bury side missed out on a place in the top three by the slimmest of margins – one goal – despite beating Accrington Stanley on the final day.

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The Shakers subsequently lost to Shrewsbury Town in the play-offs but Knill insists the experience could work in his side's favour this time around. He said: "The ones who make the top three will be the ones who hold their nerve. In that respect, I believe what happened last season can help us because we have been in this position before with 10 games to go. We know what to expect and what happened to us then can only inspire us to go on and finish in the top three.

"Rotherham away is undoubtedly one of our tougher games. But, at the same time, this is a chance to help ourselves. Rotherham have a game in hand so we cannot afford to slip up. We had a good win over them at our place but that will not count for much at the Don Valley."