Cheltenham boss Michael Duff has warned his side that Carlisle United will be giving absolutely everything to cling onto their play-off chances tonight.

While the Robins can seal promotion with a point, the Blues need to win in order to keep their faint hopes realistically alive.

Table-topping Cheltenham are hoping it will be a memorable night at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium (kick-off 7pm).

But manager Duff says Carlisle will undoubtedly put a great deal into the contest.

"We want to win it and they probably have to go and win it," said Duff to Gloucestershire Live.

"You look at the travelling they have to do, it's been Saturday, Tuesday since Christmas.

"To be so close, they won't be leaving anything behind. They'll be really positive with everything they do because they've had such a good season, tarnished by Covid and cancellations, with 10 games called off at one point, including one against us.

"They've been unlucky, but they won't want to feel sorry for themselves. Where they are based location-wise, they do a lot of miles, so they'll be coming to win and hopefully it'll free it up and be an entertaining game of football."

Duff said Chris Beech's United have a familiar style of play which his own team needs to be aware of.

He added: "They are very good at what they do - they get men in the box, they have the most shots and touches in the opposition box in the league, and the most chances in the league.

"They have a mixture of players and they can change it like we can, but I don't think they'll come too far away from what they've been successful at."

Cheltenham are on the brink of securing their place in League One for 2021/22 and Duff has challenged his team to power over the line and win the title.

He added: "We are nearly there, but we haven't quite done it yet. There is a lot of relief about the result on Saturday [a 1-0 win over Colchester].

"The first half was a little bit anxious because of the pressure, but we have an opportunity now and we spoke about it in the week - rather than crawling over the line, or limping over the line, we want to go and win the league.

"The performance on Saturday proved that. Hopefully with it being so close it frees them up a little bit and they can go and express themselves [tonight], because it's going to be a difficult game."

Duff also insisted Cheltenham are topping the table despite having one of the lower budgets in the division.

After last November's 2-1 defeat to the Robins at Brunton Park, Beech said Cheltenham had some "proper League One players" who must have "cost a lot".

Duff, though, said: "I think it's fair to say we don't splash the cash!

"We got the experienced ones based on location - they are from this part of the world, they have young children and want to be close to home.

"That's the reason we got them, not because we filled their pockets, I can assure you of that.

"Other people can say what they like, but we know what we are and we're in the bottom six or seven of the budgets, but we don't talk about it because there is no need to.

"The league is compact and other teams are doing the same thing. It is compact and it's not like the Premier League, where there is a disparity between the top and the bottom, which is huge.

"There is a disparity, but get on with the tools that you've got."