ACCRINGTON Stanley's tricky winger Gary Roberts is hoping he can shake off his travel sickness.
The Reds make the trip to play-off challengers Dagenham tomorrow (Sat) and then face the short journey to local rivals Morecambe on Tuesday night with 21-year-old Roberts, who has scored two goals in the Reds last two wins, determined to reproduce the same form away from home.
"I have been getting some stick from the management, saying I can only play at home and it has been true so far," said the left winger.
"I don't know what it is but I just can't seem to perform the same away from home. I was subbed against Cambridge, Altrincham and Burton and didn't start at Scarborough so I know I have got to start turning in some away performances and hopefully it will begin tomorrow."
The pacey wideman admits he is enjoying life at Stanley, especially as they are now third in the league having won four successive league games following Saturday's 4-2 home win over Crawley and Tuesday's 3-2 home victory over Aldershot - their best record in the Conference.
"It is great when you are winning. You go to work and the atmosphere is buzzing, it is totally different. There is nothing like it and it is a great feeling," said Roberts. "But the manager isn't letting us get carried away. He is keeping our feet firmly on the ground. It is just a shame, with six wins out of nine games, we are not top of the league. You would expect to be up there but I guess that just shows how tough it is going to be this year.
"But I think the least we can do is reach the play-offs this season. I think everyone at the club dreams of playing league football whether it is for the first time or those going back into the league. We have got a strong squad here of 24 good players, with plenty of ability, and we have got to keep our run going."
In-form Roberts admitted, when he signed from Welsh side Welshpool in March, it was hard for him at the Interlink.
"Rory (Prendergast) was here then and he is a good player and was obviously a fans favourite and my main aim was just to get in the team.
"Now Rory has left, the place is mine to lose and I am a bit more relaxed, I play my own game and have stopped panicking as much."
Unlike a lot of the team, the away grounds are new experiences for him but trips to both Dagenham and Morecambe produced a win in each game last season. Roberts said: "The manager usually tells us about what we did last season - he usually remembers when we lose and then drills it into us not to let it happen again!"
But attacking-wise the Reds need nothing drilling into them. They have scored 17 league goals so far and have found the back of the net in every game with Roberts, David Brown, Andy Mangan, Steve Jagielka and more chipping in.
"It is a luxury at the moment," said Roberts, whose target is 10 goals in his first season of full-time football. "Going forward there are just so many options and we are all enjoying it."
And there is a good team spirit with the winger unselfishly passing to let Jagielka score against Crawley on Saturday and Roberts admitted: "I had to as he said I never cross to him so he said I owed him that!"
And while the Reds are in a rich vein of form, it is a good time to tackle fellow promotion-chasers Daggers and Morecambe, two games which always seem to provide thrills and spills.
Assistant boss Jimmy Bell admitted: "We have had a couple of great results at Dagenham in the last couple of seasons. It is a place me and John (Coleman) always want to go back and do well from our Ashton days when they knocked us out of the FA Trophy in the final minute.
"They have had a great start but we have got four wins on the bounce and we will be going there to make it five."
And then it is John Coleman and Bell's former club Morecambe and there is always an air of expectancy and rivalry with that local derby - with the Reds doing the treble over the Shrimps last year, twice in the league and once in the Lancashire Cup.
Stanley are without international Romuald Boco on Saturday, who made his Conference debut on Saturday, but he should be back on Tuesday. The midfielder has flown to Dubai for a Benin friendly ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Libya on October 9.
And left back Leam Richardson is also a doubt as he strained his hamstring and calf in the Shots win while defender Andy Tretton, after an operation, could be out until January.
Keeper Andy Dibble has recovered from his thigh strain but Bell said the Reds have gambled with their substitutes. "Andy isn't injured but we made a point of leaving him off the bench and going with five outfield players. It could have backfired but we wanted more options on the bench," said the assistant.
- STANLEY'S home match against Hereford will be played on Friday 7 October (ko 7.45pm) to avoid clashing with England's World Cup qualifier against Austria on the Saturday.
- STANLEY striker Paul Mullin could face his younger brother John in the LDV Vans first round tie at Rotherham. The game will be played on Tuesday 18 October.