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Assistant boss Richardson tells Stanley's young players to prove themselves this season

Leam Richardson is hoping his young charges will seize their chance this season.

Leam Richardson is hoping his young charges will seize their chance this season.

The Reds kick off their League Two campaign tomorrow at Southend before their first home clash against Port Vale on Tuesday and assistant boss Richardson is happy with the squad he and manager Paul Cook have assembled.

Richardson believes they have got a team who are hungry for success and some of the players, released by other clubs, will be keen to show their credentials.

"We are going in the right direction," said Richardson, with Stanley finishing 14th last season. "Myself and Paul have a lot of belief in the group of players we have at this club.

"They might have come into the club with their shoulders dipped after leaving clubs in a higher league but we want them to go out with their shoulders strong and show people what they are made of and have belief in themselves.

"All the players have come in and have the right habits and attitudes and they have the chance to improve themselves and go on and have a good career."

Richardson was speaking of the likes of George Miller, released by Preston; Toto Nsiala, let go by Everton, Aidan Chippendale, from Huddersfield, and more of the youngsters in the Reds squad who have the chance to impress in League Two, help Accrington be successful and then move back up the leagues.

"Youngsters tend to have enthusiasm and quality and they also have no fear of getting beat as they just want to play," insisted Richardson.

"But it’s not about age – if you are good enough, you will play, no matter what age you are."

The Reds have also added to their squad with last season’s nine-goal top scorer Padraig Amond returning to the club on a one-year deal from Portuguese side Pacos De Ferreira and he should play tomorrow subject to international clearance.

They have also got midfielders Ryan Watson and Adam Dawson, both 19, on loan from Wigan to boost the squad.

And Richardson hasn’t ruled out further additions next week.

"We are looking to add a couple more next week who we think will benefit the squad," he continued. "I’m a naturally optimistic person but I do think we will do well and we all can’t wait for the season to begin now.

"We are all singing off the same page and hopefully it will show in the results."

Cook oversaw Peterborough’s 4-0 cup win over Southend on Tuesday but knows a trip to last season’s play-off contenders first up is a tricky one.

"It is a tough start for anyone but by Saturday at 3pm we will be ready and we will be set up to try and win the game," added Cook’s assistant.

"We know Southend have good players and we don’t have their spending power but we go there aiming to come home with three points."

The Reds last won on their travels at Burton in January, a statistic they want to get out of the way as soon as they can.

"There have been a lot of changes since last season," said Richardson. "When Paul came in in February we were close to the play-offs but we had our hands tied and some things were out of control towards the end with a handful of injuries and so on. So really we’ve been focusing on building up a squad and educating the players our way."

Their first competitive clash was last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to League One Carlisle in the Capital One Cup and Cook admitted: "We are still working out what our best formation is.

"Padraig has come in this week and we are looking to sign one or two others that will affect us. We need a physical presence up front but we’re a work in progress.

"We’ve got to look at the big picture over a period of time. I’d like to say that at the end of the season, we’ll sit down, look at our league postition and be happy.

"I have confidence we will do well, I have a belief in these players. I don’t hammer them if they have done their best and I didn’t hammer them after Carlisle. We will analyse things and work it out in training. We’ll make mistakes but we will bounce back."

One player who stood out at Carlisle is new winger Chippendale who came close to scoring the Reds’ first goal of the campaign.

"In the second half, Aidan was terrific and showed signs that he will be a really good asset for us. His left foot will be a really good weapon," added Cook.

Stanley striker James Gray will be boosted after scoring his first goal for Northern Ireland Under 21s against Hungary in a friendly on Wednesday night.

Elsewhere, teenage Stanley striker Marcus Carver has joined Marine on a month’s loan.

"I’m happy to be going out there and getting some games," said Carver, from Great Harwood. "I’ve played a couple of games for them already and it’s a real physical challenge. I have to start thinking a bit more, learning to ride tackles and deal with the physical side of things.

"I want to come back fitter and stronger and with games under my belt."

Defender Dean Winnard is expected to have recovered from a hamstring injury which kept him out of the Carlisle loss.

He may replace Toto Nsiala, who picked up a yellow card and had to be subbed for fear of him following it with a red.

"Toto has got a good winning mentality and we have had various conversations that he could have a big future in the game," added Richardson.

"But he has a lot to learn. He is only young, he will make mistakes and he has got to get rid of the red mist."

 
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