Paul Cook admits tomorrow’s clash with Port Vale is ‘massive’ as he goes in search of his first win as Stanley boss.
The 45-year-old has overseen three defeats in quick succession but has had his first full week to work with his new players.
Along with Jamie Devitt, on loan from Hull, he has added keeper Lee Nicholls from Wigan and Sunderland defender Michael Liddle to his Accrington squad and he has spent the last seven days concentrating on getting his players used to his way of thinking and playing.
"We haven’t worked with the players for a full week yet and this is a massive week for the club and hopefully we will see some rewards against Port Vale," he said.
"The fans need to stick with us, especially at times like this because the long-term plan is to do well."
Cook admits that so far he has seen too many goals go in the Reds’ net – eight have been shipped – without scoring in reply and league leaders Swindon were the latest to overcome Stanley on Saturday.
"The goals we conceded at Swindon were heartbreaking," he said. "The players have got to learn that, if you want to be in our team, you have to be fit, you have to be organised and have to have a will to win. I saw that in the second half against Swindon but not in the first."
What infuriated Cook is that the Reds – and anyone in League Two – know all about striker Paul Benson, who scored both of the Robins’ goals.
" We said before the game you pick the Sunday newspaper up and the same people score week after week, and Paul Benson is one of them.
"We know if we give him space in the box he will score goals. We have to realise that when Benson comes into our box we have got to mark him tightly and again we have learnt lessons the harsh way."
There were positives to take from the second half though and Cook hopes to take that into the Crown Ground game against Vale.
Despite losing centre-halves Toto Nsiala and Dean Winnard at half-time, a makeshift back four did well.
Cook said: "I think we showed great spirit in the second half to put two young lads together in Peter Murphy and Michael Liddle and I thought the pair of them were terrific.
"I thought the keeper was terrific and he will only get stronger and Jamie (Devitt) has some great qualities and put some good balls into the box.
"There were some good performances and we win and lose together. We have got some good players here and it’s just about getting everything going the right way.
"It’s my job and Leam (Richardson’s) to lift the spirits of the lads and work harder and concentrate on eradicating our mistakes."
There was some pre-match encouragement from his opposing manager, Paolo Di Canio.
The charismatic Italian had suffered criticism when he first took over at the County Ground, but turned his side’s fortunes around and they head into the weekend in top spot, four points ahead of second-placed Cheltenham.
"I had a word with Paolo before the game, he was very complimentary and said he’d looked over my career and he told me what a good manager I would be – that was very nice of him," revealed Cook.
"This is all a new experience for me with the players and the teams, I have a great enthusiasm to be a good manager and Leam’s got the same qualities.
"We want to, if possible, make the club better and improve the club off the pitch but we know we have got to get results.
"We are trying our best to take the club forward and sometimes it takes time.
"Sometimes you have to take a couple of backward steps to get where you want to be."