THE Championship scrap reaches its most pressured 90 minutes yet at Burton tomorrow, and Phil Parkinson has warned his Wanderers they must roll up their sleeves.

Footballing purists may want to look away at the Pirelli Stadium as two teams who have been in the thick of the relegation battle for the last eight months make a final bid for safety.

Victory for Wanderers could be enough to ensure they stay in the division, and would certainly consign their hosts to relegation. Anything else would prolong the agony for another weekend.

Parkinson is anxious to remove at least one variable from the equation and though it would be only his side’s second away win of the campaign, he has detected signs on the training ground this week the sense of urgency has translated to the players.

“It has been a good day,” he told The Bolton News yesterday. “I sense there’s an energy there and that the lads are really up for it. I’m glad, because they will have to be.

“It’s a bodies-on-the-line type game, a fight, who’s going to go in where angels fear to tread? Who can make that block on the line if it needs to be made? That edge needs to be there.

“I don’t want anyone out there at Burton who isn’t prepared to give their all.

“The focus has got to be on the fact it’s in our hands. We need to eliminate Burton, that would mean them and Sunderland are no longer a threat to us.

“We don’t really want it to go down to the final day of the season with four or five of us fighting for two places. “ With so many permutations involving the other sides in the relegation fight – Barnsley, Birmingham City and Reading – Parkinson accepts it could be another afternoon of fluctuating emotions.

Bolton’s fate was placed back into their own hands thanks to Barnsley’s defeat at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night but the manager will work hard to keep his players on message.

“It’s one of those games, similar to Port Vale last year, where it’s hard to shield the players from what is happening elsewhere,” he said. “You can feel the crowd noise around you.

“Last year we were up, then we weren’t, and you knew from the crowd’s response what was happening. But it is vitally important we do what we have to do.

“We got the bonus of the Barnsley result on Tuesday night but now we’ve got to make sure we don’t waste this opportunity.”

Wanderers currently sit 21st – which has consistently been referred to as the target by owner and chairman Ken Anderson in recent months.

Parkinson admits his own expectations have shifted as the season wore on.

“At the start of the season when we were really struggling – and I don’t want to bore people with whys and hows – but we probably would have taken the chance to stay up in the final two games,” he said. “And after 11 games, when we only had two points, I definitely would have taken a chance to stay up.

“When we were six points clear after the Villa game I thought we had a chance to get it done and dusted. But overall we probably would have taken our situation in two of those scenarios. Now it’s up to us to produce when it matters most.”

Opposite number Nigel Clough has already pin-pointed Wanderers’ threat from set-pieces as a key component of tomorrow’s game.

Burton, like Bolton, have proved to be one of the Championship’s most direct teams and have already edged a scrappy game at the Macron Stadium in December to give themselves a slight psychological advantage.

“We have to make sure there is physicality in the side because of the way Burton play, that is absolutely key,” Parkinson said.

“We have to make sure there is size in the team to be a threat at set-pieces and defend them ourselves.

“Even if you take the teams around us – Sunderland, Birmingham, Barnsley – the games were separated by set-plays. They were pivotal. The organisation for that sort of thing has to be spot on, for and against.”

Filipe Morais and Antonee Robinson are the two main fitness doubts going into the game with calf and shoulder problems, respectively.

“We’ll look at them both just before kick off,” Parkinson added.