STANLEY boss John Coleman is desperate for a win on Sunday to celebrate a landmark 400 league game in charge of the Reds.
Accrington take on local rivals Rochdale looking to get back on the winning trail and Coleman wants it to be a memorable day for the right reasons.
"It will be a normal game for me although the 400 league games does feel like 400 years!" said Coleman.
"It is unusual to have 400 league games unbroken at one club as managers do swap and change and that is what makes it so special.
"But it won’t feel any differently on Sunday - I just want a win, the same as any other game.
"We have been in a winning position against Rochdale a couple of times and never managed to get a win - so hopefully it will change on Sunday.
"It is something a bit different playing on Sunday. There should be a good crowd and a good atmosphere and hopefully it will be a good day for us."
The Reds have picked up just one point out of the last 12 and Coleman wants to stop now the threat of any repeat of the last two seasons where they have battled against the drop.
Even though sides at the bottom of League Two have a points deduction, Coleman refuses to believe that this guarantees his side survival against falling back into non-league football.
"I don’t want to go through another season like we did last season but there were signs of that creeping in against Darlington," said Coleman with his side losing 3-0 on Saturday against their bogey team.
"Again we have lost to a team - who I can’t say are better than us or worse than us - but they haven’t had to be better than us. We have contributed to our own downfall.
"It is hard to take as we have got enough experience out there to certainly acquit ourselves better than we did against Darlington.
"There have been a few worrying signs creeping in the last couple of weeks and the only place to change that is in training and hopefully we can get it right.
"We are playing another team in Rochdale this weekend who we haven’t beat in the league and you have got to try and bury these ghosts.
"They got to the Play-Off final last season and they have done really well. I think what they have in their side is a great belief in themselves and they believe they can win every game they play.
"I have tried to instil that into my sides and now we have to get results full stop. We are in the bottom half of the table and it only takes a couple more defeats and you are in the relegation places.
"I don’t want to go through that again but it is looking like we are sliding down the league.
"There is only one way to stop it and that is by winning games. We have got to get ourselves up for the next game."
Coleman knows he is up against it and will be reliant on young loan players this season, such as striker Terry Gornell, 18, who he signed from Tranmere Rovers last Friday for a month.
They also have Jamie Clarke and Rostyn Griffiths, both 20, on loan from Blackburn Rovers.
"We are in the financial situation where we can’t go out and afford top quality players and we have to bring younger loan players in and hopefully they will have the bit between their teeth," added the Reds chief.
He admits he has made one or two enquiries about a couple of other players.
This is especially as the injuries have not yet cleared up in the Reds camp.
One-time Dale target Andy Procter (knee) will not be fit for this weekend while Leam Richardson had an injection in his stomach which will take at least a week to settle. He should be back in training in around 10 days time.
Young winger Bobby Grant, who had a knee operation in August, is still expected to be out for at least another six weeks as his recovery is taking longer than expected which is a blow for the talented teenager.
But Coleman says goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin could return after suffering a badly gashed knee in the Johnstone Paint’s Trophy clash at Tranmere a couple of weeks ago.
"He has an outside chance of making the bench," said the Reds chief.
Meanwhile, Coleman is hoping there is plenty more to come from loan teenager Gornell, who came on in the second half against Darlington, with Stanley 1-0 down.
He said: "It was a bit unfair for Terry as he had to go on and try and change a game and you would like him to go on when we are in control.
"But he showed enough willing but probably put a bit too much effort in in the early stages and tired a little bit."
Gornell also played an hour in Stanley’s 2-1 reserve win over Bury on Wednesday night.
Robbie Williams opened the scoring on 35 minutes before a Peter Murphy foul led to a penalty seven minutes after the re-start which Bury converted past Jamie Speare.
Two minutes later, though, the Reds were back in front when Andy Smith unleashed a fierce shot to give Stanley a win.
Trialist and Scottish centre half Craig Gupwell played a full 90 minutes in the Reds’ reserves as he looks to win a contract at the club. The defender has been at Motherwell.
Stanley’s second string play at Rochdale next Wednesday (ko 2pm).
- ROCHDALE are expected to name the same side that beat Chesterfield 2-1 last weekend.
- THE Football Association are still "ongoing" in their investigation into the betting irregularities on Stanley’s match with Bury at the end of last season.
- LOG ON to www.accringtonobserver.co.uk on Sunday from 2.30pm for live text commentary of Accrington Stanley v Rochdale. You'll be able to get to read about the action as it happens on our great blog live from the FES. And you can join in too, by sending in your comments and questions as the match unfolds, with the best ones featuring in the blog throughout the afternoon.