MK Dons could go top of League 2 on Saturday if they beat basement club Macclesfield Town at Stadium MK, but Paul Tisdale has reiterated he wants to be there in May, not November.
With Lincoln City’s game against Yeovil falling victim to international call-ups - just as Dons’ game against the Glovers was earlier this season - Dons could reach the summit with three points.
The Silkmen have struggled since promotion to League 2 this season. They were crowned Vanarama National Leauge champions with a 10-point advantage over Tranmere Rovers, but so far only have seven points to their name and are a further seven from safety.
Tisdale though says the carrot of going top is meaningless if they overlook Macclesfield.
"It's good for the here and now, but we have to be respectful to every team," he said. "The margins are fine, and we must not forget they are professionals, they have their own pride and careers to play for, mortgages to pay. What if this Saturday is the best performance they put in so far this season?
"We will talk about where we are at 4:55pm on Saturday, whether we win, draw or lose."
When asked whether he would prefer to be chased as the league leaders or hunting down a team on top, he added: "I'm happy with either to be honest. If you'd asked that in July, I would have been happy to be in the top third. There aren't many points between first and eighth, and we're just about a third through the season.
"There are positives to spin with each, and it's one of the things we talk about regularly – how to we maintain our form. We have to maintain the right tone, and the right focus."
In five previous meetings between the sides, Dons have won twice and there have been three draws. Heading into the clash, Dons are nine undefeaed in League 2, while Macclesfield have won just once in the league all season.
Defender Mitch Hancox was a regular for Macclesfield last season but made the switch to MK Dons in the summer, and scored his first goal for his new club on Tuesday night in the 3-2 defeat to Brighton U21s.