MANAGER James Beattie has warned Stanley's League 2 rivals to underestimate them at their peril - beginning with Saturday's opponents Southend.
The Reds kick off their new campaign at home to the Shrimpers, who Phil Brown led to the play-offs last season.
Stanley, meanwhile, were tipped by many for relegation and they looked doomed after taking 13 games to chalk up their first league win.
They came back from the dead though to finish 15th, beating promoted sides Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Fleetwood along the way. But Beattie reckons his side continue to be unfairly dismissed as 'no-hopers'.
"I think we are underestimated, totally," said the Reds' boss. "I think we're underestimated by everybody.
"But we come in, do our work and put a team out which we think can go and get a result.
"It's great when teams underestimate you because it gives you an advantage to begin with.
"Southend have signed a few players and Phil Brown's sorted his new contract out so he's quite happy about that," Beattie added.
"I wouldn't say they seem quietly confident of having a good season but confident. I hope they think it's going to be easy coming here and that it'll be an easy three points for them on the opening day.
"There's a determination within the squad and the club to prove people wrong and hopefully that will play out on Saturday."
The Reds lost just two of the last 10 games and Beattie has held onto most of those players yet they are again favourites to go down this term.
A Sky Sports pundit this week claimed Stanley only just survived last season but that ignorance has served to spur on Beattie's young squad even more.
"It's great being able to prove people wrong," said the Reds' boss. "We haven't even started the season yet and we're in that situation.
“That lies perfectly with the club, it's used to being written off, but as I've said to the lads, they've got to use that, which they do.
“They come in training every morning and just get on with it, they get their heads down and work hard.
"I'll have interviews with the press but I'm not going to say what I think the lads can do. They just want to let their football do the talking because they're so desperate to prove people wrong, which I'm sure they will do."
This is Stanley's ninth year since returning to the Football League and they've only finished in the bottom six on one occasion - when they were 20th in their very first season back.
While Beattie feels the club hasn't had the credit it deserves, the Reds again have the smallest budget in the Football League and are used to be being seen as underdogs.
"I suppose it does suit us, there's no real change," said Beattie. "Everybody had written us off before last season and then we had a terrible start, but the lads showed determination and character to pull through.
"It was looking impossible at one stage but I believed they could do it and they did.
“They’ve been working hard for five-and-a-half weeks now," added the former England striker, 36. "They returned in great shape, they're fit and they're raring to go. We can't wait to get the season underway.
“Pre-season's been very good, we've had some really good games and good performances. We've worked on a few things and hopefully come three o'clock on Saturday we'll be ready.”
Goalkeeper Andrew Dawber and midfielder Will Hatfield could be rested against Southend as they're carrying slight injuries.