JOHN Coleman feels his first two games back at Stanley have shown his new squad what they can achieve when they believe.
Coleman said on his return as the Reds’ boss two weeks ago that Stanley could be challenging for promotion again as early as this season.
And back-to-back wins over Northampton and Plymouth have shown he was deadly serious, putting Stanley a point off the top half heading into tomorrow’s match at Mansfield.
“Before the Northampton game I said I was tired of being seen as ‘little Accrington’ and not being expected to do anything,” he said.
“But for three years before I left we were in the top half and there’s no reason why we can’t be back like that.
“The finances are the same. You just need players who will roll their sleeves up and have a go, and I feel we have that.
“We’ve got good players who have a good attitude. We just have to keep believing in ourselves and do it again this Saturday. If you don’t believe in yourself then who will?”
As well as urging more self-belief, Coleman has made a subtle change to Stanley’s playing style.
“Things were going ok before so there’s no need to change things for the sake of change or to stamp our authority,” he said.
“The main thing we felt that needed improving was that we were hitting the ball long too quickly so I’ve asked them to pass it a bit more.”
Stanley fans gave Coleman a warm welcome for his first home game back in charge. American TV star Jesse McClure even joined in with the Stanley Ultras to cheer on the Reds after taking part in a crossbar challenge.
And although Stanley hung on for a hard-fought win over Plymouth, Coleman was disappointed with their performance, particularly during the first half.
“The fans gave me a great reception,” said the Reds’ boss. “I asked them to make more noise and they did. It felt like we’d never been away.
“We didn’t play well, there’s no point lying about it. But it shows our character that we dug in and made sure we won.
“Mansfield’s home form is strong but we have to take heart from our last away performance,” Coleman added. “If we get the forwards playing like we did at Northampton then everyone in the league will be scared of us.”