JOHN Coleman is hoping for a birthday treat when Accrington Stanley take on Dagenham on Sunday.
The Reds boss turns 45 today while captain Peter Cavanagh is 26 on Sunday - and a win would be the best present for both of them.
"It is my birthday weekend so I will have to hope for a double celebration," said Coleman, with the game switched to Sunday because of tomorrow's internationals.
"I don't think I have ever played on my birthday so a win would be nice," said the skipper.
Manager Coleman and his troops know all about Dagenham and Redbridge from their non-league days and the Reds have always come away from Victoria Park with maximum points.
"We have always done well there, it is one of those grounds we seem to like, but it all counts for nothing on Sunday," he said.
"They did well to be Conference champions and they will be pleased with their start to the season.
"They also had a great win over Leyton Orient in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy midweek.
"They will still be euphoric from getting into the league and that means they are a dangerous side."
Coleman is expecting a response from his players after a lack-lustre show at home to Wrexham on Friday condemned Stanley to their sixth loss of the season - and kept them in a mid-table position rather than challenging at the top end.
The players were called in for extra training over the weekend.
"They know they weren't up to scratch on Friday and now I am sure they are dying to go out and put it behind them on Sunday," said the Reds chief.
"I just want us to play like we can. If we go out and compete and it is not good enough then so be it but we have set our standards and so, to drop well below them on Friday, was disappointing."
The manager has been boosted with the news that loan midfielder Ian Craney should be back sooner than expected.
At first it was feared he would be ruled out for his three month loan spell but now the Swansea player could return in two weeks for the Barnet game. "That is a huge boost," admitted Coleman.
But he does have some injuries to contend with for the trip to London.
Goalkeeper Kenny Arthur is a long-term victim with a broken leg while ever-present defender Robbie Williams is also a doubt after missing training with slight knock.
And Phil Edwards is still laid low with a back injury for four-six weeks while loan striker Chris McGrail has returned to Preston, also with a back injury.
Winger Shaun Whalley is fighting to be fit after coming off in Wednesday's 4-2 reserve win over Carlisle and youngster Bobby Grant is also sidelined after a late tackle by Carlisle's Shaun Vipond - which resulted in a red card - led to the left-sided player being carried off in the second string game.
Coleman, though, was looking at an alternative back line with striker Lee McEvilly partnering Sean Webb in the heart of the defence.
Leighton McGivern is also hoping he will challenge for a place in the squad travelling to London as he scored twice for the reserves, John Miles got one while youngster Chris Turner grabbed the other.
Meanwhile Rommy Boco is on international duty with Benin but hopes to return for Sunday's clash.
His team play in Seirra Leone today in the final 2008 African Cup of Nations Qualifier.
Benin, who also have Togo and Mali in their group, need a victory to qualify for the finals in Ghana in January where he could line up against the likes of Chelsea star Didier Drogba and Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o.
"It is a big event for me," said Boco, who has just recovered from a virus which has laid him low.
"It is a huge experience and I just have to hope we can win. We beat Sierra Leone 2-0 in our first game so we need to do that again. It would be a dream to get to the finals."
Meanwhile, defender Webb is not part of Northern Ireland's 19-man squad who face Sweden in a make-or-break Euro qualifier on Wednesday.
And, despite rumours going around that the Reds may make a loan swoop for former winger Gary Roberts - who they sold to Ipswich in December for £250,000 - Coleman said it is a no go at the moment.
"I have not made any enquiries," said the Reds chief as Roberts isn't playing regularly for the Tractor Boys.
Ipswich boss Jim Magilton confirmed: "We would not entertain any attempts to take Gary on loan at the moment.
"He remains an important part of my plans and even if he is not in the team week in, week out, he is still a member of the squad with a vital role to play."
Stanley reserves are in action against Preston at home next Wednesday with a 2pm kick off.