STANLEY assistant boss Jimmy Bell hopes the Reds can bring some Christmas cheer in what he bills as two "massive" games.
The Reds face local rivals Chester City on Boxing Day and, two days later, Grimsby Town - two teams close to Stanley as they battle to put more breathing space between themselves and the drop zone.
Three successive defeats led the assistant to mention ‘relegation’ for the first time on Saturday following the loss to Rotherham.
And he says the full treatment room is the major reason for the losses and they can’t wait for the January transfer window to open next week to strengthen the threadbare squad.
The Reds have had a staggering 16 injuries this season with the latest victim Gregg Blundell. The striker, having played just two games of a one month loan spell, has returned to Darlington for a scan on his knee and is not expected back at the FES.
"It looks like it will be two or three weeks so that’s probably the end of that unless he has a miraculous recovery and comes back for the last week," said Bell. "It means we will have to bring players in in January.
"We are certainly looking at getting some of squad like we had two or three weeks ago - Rostyn (Griffiths), Terry Gornell and keeping Keiran (Charnock) are high on our list of priorities."
Defender Charnock is enjoying a successful loan spell and the Reds want to sign him permanently from Peterborough but are waiting to iron out the details with the player. Stanley also hope Griffiths and Gornell will come back to the FES at least until the end of the season from Blackburn and Tranmere respectively.
And Bell admits that - after a run of one loss in seven games moved them up the table during October - they are now looking over their shoulders. "Sometimes the season gives you a kick in the teeth," he said.
"Two or three weeks ago I was looking at seventh or eighth place - we were seven points behind the play-offs - and I was saying we have got a good team, a great squad and strength in depth and we could be challenging for the play off places.
"But within two or three weeks, our squad is completely depleted and we have lost three on the bounce and that’s football for you.
"We have had a chat with the players and have now got two massive games against Chester and Grimsby.
"But we know, if we are going to be in a relegation battle, we will survive.
"We have been there or thereabouts the last two seasons and we know what it is all about. If we are going to be in a scramble then I think we are more equipped that anyone - we will rally around and certainly battle on.
"We lost to Rotherham on Saturday and that was a kick in the teeth but now we have got to pick ourselves up over the Christmas period and try and get some points."
Bell said a major worry is the goals conceded column with the Reds letting in 31 goals this season - eight in the last two matches.
"It is also ten goals in three games and it is not nice conceding goals especially after the run of results we had before that where we conceded around three goals in eight games.
"But it shows you how much football can change."