GOAL hero Rory Prendergast is confident Accrington Stanley can still make the Conference play-offs despite recent poor results.
The Reds have lost their last two games and have won just three and lost seven of their last 13 league encounters.
It doesn't tell the whole story as Stanley didn't take their countless chances against Forest Green last Saturday in the 1-0 defeat and were denied what looked like a good goal against high-flying Carlisle on Tuesday which would have given them a point.
But the flying winger, who made his first start following a double hernia operation and celebrated with a goal against Carlisle, is sure that they can put their recent bad spell behind them.
"We are staying positive," said Prendergast, as Stanley slipped to seventh in the table and have played at least one game more than the teams around them. "We still believe we can make the play-offs although we know now we do have to put a string of results together.
"The top spot has gone - Barnet are clear - but with the next four having a chance of the play-offs, we can be in there. We have just got to start putting away our chances. We should have taken three points at Forest Green and at least a point against Carlisle.
"Our goalscorers are going through a lean spell - all strikers do - but Paul (Mullin) and Lee (McEvilly) have scored some good goals for us this season and they will get more.
"We have just got to keep going and hopefully, with one team being able to beat any other in this league, others will slip up and we will nip in."
However no one is underestimating the trip to bottom club Leigh on Saturday.
Stanley have lost their last six games on their travels and not scored away from home in four games.
And the Railwaymen, who saved themselves from an unwanted record of 11 consecutive league defeats with a draw against Scarborough on Tuesday, can look back to their 2-0 FA Cup victory over the Reds in October.
They have got a new manager in Geoff Lutley and have shown signs of a revival - almost pulling off a shock win over leaders Barnet recently but were denied by two late goals.
But boss John Coleman knows a win is vital to boost the Reds' morale and their points tally. "We have got to pick ourselves up and get going again. We haven't played badly and we have got to believe that if we keep dominating games, the wins will come," he said.
"We are probably taking about one in ten of our chances which is not good enough. Missing chances has plagued us for the last four or five years and if you keep doing it, it will come back to haunt you. But if we keep making them, surely they must start going in. Our luck must change - we just seem cursed at the moment. But there's no point bleating about it - you have just got to get your head down and keep going."
The Reds chief knows that Leigh - with ex-Stanley striker Gary Williams in their fold - will make it hard.
"They might have the confidence following their FA Cup win over us but we have the memories of what it was like to lose - and hopefully we won't let that happen again. It will be nice to get a win going into the Christmas period - and it will be even nicer to see a goal go in away from home. It seems like a long time."
Stanley are struggling with an injury crisis. Captain Peter Cavanagh missed the Carlisle game with a sprained ankle and is rated 50/50 for tomorrow while Mike Flynn cracked his ribs against Carlisle and is a major doubt. Keeper Paul Crichton, though, is expected to have shaken off the virus which kept him out on Tuesday while defender Steve Halford has returned from his loan spell at Radcliffe Borough.
- POLISH midfielder/striker Pawel Wozniak has been training with Stanley this week. The 26-year-old former Polish Under 21 player has recently moved to the area and has played in the Polish top flight.