ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman knows his side will under estimate struggling Forest Green at their peril.
The Brewers may occupy a relegation spot but recent form does suggest a turn-around in fortunes and the Reds chief knows they have to play to their best if they are to avoid the 2-1 defeat they suffered at The Lawn last season.
"They have been doing well of late, they got a draw against Bournemouth in the FA Cup and were 2-0 up against Stevenage last week before Stevenage came back late on to draw," said Coleman.
"Saying that, they did only have two shots on target all game and Mark Beesley scored both - who I was once linked to.
"Last season it was frustrating to lose there but it was early in the season and we probably went into the game cold. It will be different this year.
"We know three points can make a big difference and if we our next two games, we could move up into second in the league."
And he is keen to cure recent travel sickness after Stanley have failed to win in their last five Conference away games. Their last away league victory was the 5-0 thumping of Dagenham in early September.
"After a really excellent start away from home, we have petered off," said the boss. "And we need to get back to winning ways away from home and try and get to Christmas with a place cemented in the play-offs. I anticipate that between January and February eight will break away from the main pack and we have got to make sure we are one of them."
The Reds chief is battling with injuries with midfielder Ged Brannan struggling with his hamstring and left back Chris Butler also took a knock on his knee in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Canvey Island which moved Stanley up to fifth in the table.
Both will be a loss after the Reds made it three clean sheets in the last four games on Saturday.
It could give some of the players on the fringes a chance to stake their claim for a first team spot with the likes of Steve Jagielka, Paul Cook, Jonathan Smith and Paul Howarth on the bench in recent games.
"It is hard keeping everyone happy but the players know if they get a chance they can take it," continued the boss. "The best example of this is Steve Flitcroft who wasn't getting a sniff early on in the season but has come in and done well.
"The lads are in possession of the shirts at the moment but there is only them who can give them back to me. But I have the squad because the players who can come in are good enough.
"I will pick whatever side I think will win the game and the players in-form will play."
- STANLEY will face Conference rivals Hereford at home in the third round of the FA Trophy on January 15. "It is a good draw against one of the top sides. We cannot rest on our laurels against a team like Hereford," said Coleman.
They travel to Atherton LR in the Lancashire FA Marsden Trophy week commencing January 10.
- REDS winger Paul Carvill has left the club and returned to Ireland where he is expected to play for a local side.
The 19-year-old signed for Stanley in the summer after being released from Preston, but failed to break into the first team squad. "It was difficult trying to get him in. The lad was patient but decided to return to Ireland," said Coleman.
- LUTEL James scored his first goal for loan club Droylsden in their FA Trophy loss on Saturday.