Gillingham boss Martin Allen believes beating Rochdale on Tuesday would put the League Two leaders within touching distance of promotion.
The match is the Gills game in hand on the four sides below them and a win would open up a seven-point lead.
He told BBC's Late Kick Off: "I think it's a really special game. We've had a game in hand for quite a while now.
"If we win, the way I put it is we'll be set to sprint into the stadium at the end of what's been a marathon."
Allen was appointed manager at Priestfield in the summer, replacing Andy Hessenthaler who moved upstairs to become director of football.
Having finished eighth in the last two campaigns, Gillingham have not been out of the top two since late August this season.
"The players have been the key to the success," Allen continued.
"We inherited a very good squad from Andy Hessenthaler, brought in a few more and have managed to bond them together.
"It's definitely down to the players, they deserve the credit."