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Stanley boss says 'stay calm'

The Accrington boss hopes the example of two other League Two teams can spur Stanley on to safety

STAY CALM: Leam Richardson

Leam Richardson is hoping Stanley can use Wycombe and Bristol Rovers as their inspiration as they look to move clear of the bottom two.

Not so long ago Wycombe were rock bottom of League Two but eight wins in 12 games – including Monday’s victory over title-chasing Gillingham – have propelled them closer to the play-off spots.

And Bristol Rovers recently put together a run of three wins on the bounce which have boosted their chances of staying up as they moved above the 20th placed Reds on Tuesday night.

Richardson now wants to use that as a motivation to show they have nothing to fear in League Two as they face a tough run of Southend, Exeter, Cheltenham and Rochdale this month.

“You only have to look at Wycombe and Bristol Rovers’ results to know anyone can beat anyone in this league and why can’t we beat Southend, Exeter or Cheltenham?” he said.

“Wycombe and Bristol Rovers – both are big clubs financially and are really League One sides.

“Both have found themselves down near the bottom but  have been able to change their teams quite dramatically and add to their squad.

“Then they have managed to surprise a few teams by picking up results and this has bred confidence and pushed them up the league.

“We have to do the same. We have to put the emphasis and onus on us to go out and win games, no matter who we are up against.”

Stanley are two points off the drop zone but Richardson is feeling a lot better after adding to his squad on transfer deadline day.

Bury defender Mark Hughes has boosted the backline while Nicky Hunt has signed up until the end of the season – and should be back for Saturday’s home clash with promotion-chasing Southend after missing Saturday’s 3-0 loss to leaders Port Vale with concussion.

Paul Rachubka is now the regular keeper having signed on loan from Leeds until the end of the season and Tom Aldred, a former Carlisle, Watford and Colchester defender, has been snapped up until the end of the current campaign.

The loan window opened on Thursday and Richardson hadn’t ruled out adding more bodies to his squad.

“We needed more strength in depth and we have got that now,” said the Reds boss. “We have added more experience and I am happier with the squad.

“It means there is competition for places and both Nicky Hunt and Padraig Amond (groin) were back in training this week.

“We were weak in terms of numbers defensively before Nicky and Mark came in. I didn’t want to just add players to make up the numbers all through January but these two make our side better.

“Now it is a case of looking at the forward line and, with the loan transfer window opening again, looking at a couple of players going forward who can make things happen. I want to add them hopefully before the weekend.”

Richardson knows luck is not on Stanley’s side at the moment with injuries and then the fourth minute dismissal of Charlie Barnett against the new league leaders on Saturday.

“I have watched the incident again quite a few times and I have spoken to Charlie about it.

“On the day, it looked like a good tackle and I would like to have thought some commonsense could have been used as it was the fourth minute, the game had started at a high tempo but, over the last few years, tackles like that have resulted in a sending off. He has gone in with his studs showing and, by the letter of the law, it’s a red card and we can’t really argue with that.

“Charlie has held his hands up and it’s a three-match ban.

“Port Vale is a tough enough place to go with 11 players but to have 10 for most of  the game eventually told on us even though we were the better team with the 10 men in the first half.

“They are top of the league for a reason and now we have to move on from that and look at Southend.

“I went into Port Vale confident with the additions we had made and, with 11 men on the pitch, I go into Southend confident.

“We aren’t getting the rub of the green at the moment. Earlier on in the season, Peter Murphy fires goalwards from three yards and it goes in.

“On Saturday he did that and it’s cleared off the line.

“When you are top and confidence is high, it comes naturally and you seem to get every decision but down at the bottom it’s the opposite.

“But still I am positive. I have only been in this job three months and staffing issues and player issues have been tough.

“I feel we are coming through that now, I am assembling more my team, and think we are coming out of the other end.

“I am sure we can have a positive two or three months but we are just taking it one game at a time with the full focus on beating Southend at the moment.

“We are at home and the onus is on us to take the game to them and impose ourselves on them.”

Craig Lindfield is out for around a month with an ankle injury picked up at Plymouth two weeks ago. “It is worse than we first thought so we are monitoring that,” added Richardson.

But Amond, Hunt (concussion) and Will Hatfield (broken finger) should all be back in contention.

 

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