If I were a betting man and had a spare tenner, I'd have to put it on Crewe Alexandra to edge out Cheltenham Town in the npower League 2 Play-Off Final at Wembley on Sunday. I think it's going to be seriously tight but if you were going to twist my arm over the result, I'd go for Steve Davis' side.

Cheltenham obviously came through the semi-finals more convincingly, beating Torquay United 4-1 on aggregate, while Crewe faced a sterner test against Southend United and sneaked it 3-2, but the Railwaymen have incredible momentum going into the final that may just see them through.

Their 2-2 draw with Southend at Roots Hall in the Play-Off second leg last week took their unbeaten run to 18 games and the confidence that must instil in the players will be a major weapon at Wembley. It really is difficult to calculate just how important having that positive frame of mind is going into such a big match.

What's also impressed me about Crewe is the mental strength they've shown this season. They've a lot of young lads in the team - the average age of the side is under 22 I think - but they've proven themselves to be a tough lot and despite their relative inexperience, they haven't really looked like suffering a wobble.

The likes of skipper David Artell, who I had at Morecambe, have provided the old heads and Steve has blended the old and the new together very nicely. You used to be able to upset Crewe sides and get under their skin but I've not seen that weakness surface this season.

Steve had a tough act to follow when he succeeded Dario Gradi in November but he's made them more resilient as a group and harder to beat. Getting to the Play-Off Final after only six months in the job is certainly a major achievement.

The same of course could be said of Mark Yates at Cheltenham for the way he has transformed a team that finished 17th in the table last season and is now just 90 minutes away from promotion. He brought in a few new players to freshen things up a bit but that shouldn't detract from his part in what is already a remarkable reversal of fortunes.

The biggest challenge facing the two managers however is ensuring their players actually perform at Wembley. It's so easy for a team to freeze on such a big stage, especially if it's their first time at the stadium, and both Steve and Mark will be doing everything in their power this week to keep their teams relaxed but focused.

There are essentially two schools of thought here. Some managers embrace the occasion and deliberately play up the sense of occasion, the importance of the day, while others try and keep things low key as if it were just a midweek game in the middle of February.

There are risks in both approaches. If you build up the match, there's a danger that the players can be distracted by all the inevitable media attention, the requests for tickets from family and friends and the general hype. They can take their eye off the job.

Some clubs retreat to hotels to escape all the attention but then there's the risk the players become bored and actually have too much time to think and worry.

I went to Wembley with Manchester United for the FA Cup Final three times in the 70s and personally our pre-match routine suited me fine. We headed to the team hotel on the Wednesday for a Saturday game and I felt it was just the right balance. We had two full days away before the match which gave us a bit of breathing space but it wasn't so long that boredom set in.

The only thing that changed was the hotel. We lost to Southampton in 1976 so Tommy Docherty decided to move hotels 12 months later when we got to the Final again to play Liverpool. It was a little bit of superstition I suppose but it seemed to do the trick because we won 2-1.

The other big factor on Sunday could be the weather. The forecast is for sun and a decent temperature and speaking from experience, Wembley can be an unforgiving venue when it's hot.

British players don't experience these kind of conditions on a regular basis and Wembley is a big, energy-draining pitch and if the fine weather does hold, the team that paces itself will have a big advantage in the latter stages of the match.

Adrenalin can take you a long way, especially in a showpiece game at Wembley, but you have to use your head as well. The temptation in such a high profile game is to come out of the blocks at a 100 miles-an-hour but you need to keep a little bit in the tank as well.