MIDFIELD star Ian Craney insists Accrington Stanley are good enough to prosper in League Two
After all the hype surrounding the Reds return to the Football League after 44 years, the 24-year-old admits it has fallen somewhat flat with two defeats and no goals.
But he says no one is panicking at the Fraser Eagle Stadium and he is counting on them to bounce back tomorrow at home to former Conference champions Barnet.
"It has just been so frustrating," admitted Craney who won the Conference Player of the Year last season.
"We didn't done ourselves justice against Chester on Saturday and we played well against Darlington but just couldn't get a goal on Tuesday.
"But we know aren't playing like we did last year.
"The squad is deflated. We have played two games, lost them both 2-0 and then we pick up the newspapers and read people saying that we are not good enough.
"It is really frustrating because we believe in ourselves and we know we are good enough.
"We haven't lived up to our expectations but I am sure one win - or even a draw - will get our confidence up and help us start playing like we know we can.
"We want to start playing well and prove we belong here because we know we do.
"I know it will be okay and we will all live up to the job."
The former Altrincham star says has been disappointed with his own shows.
"In the first two games, they have had three in midfield and that means every time me or Andy Procter have got the ball we have had two men onto us and we haven't had the space we have been used to or a lot of time on the ball.
"The other teams have certainly done their homework on us.
"Then if we do actually get the ball we either try and do something because we have rarely had the ball and lose it or we try and rush things.
"So we have got to start getting back to how we did last year. When we do, I am sure we will do well."
Craney thinks the advantage of knowing the Bees from their Conference days might help.
In the season before last, Barnet stormed non league's top flight and Paul Fairclough's side beat Stanley 3-0 at Underhill but the Reds gave them a 4-1 trouncing at home.
"I think it helps that we know plenty about Barnet," said Craney. "I know it sounds a bit mad but we have got to treat our next three games like cup finals and focus on playing better.
"The loss to Chester on Saturday felt like a relegation because we are just not used to losing after all the success of last year. Then Tuesday we played better but we still lost.
"Some of the lads had a meeting on Wednesday morning just to get our heads together.
"And we all sat there and said it was only two league games, there is no need to start panicking and we have got to take the positives. Both Chester and Darlington are at the top of the early league.
"We just need that goal and a bit of luck. Last season, we got it and it does play a big part in football. Hopefully it will go our way tomorrow."
Stanley manager John Coleman was echoing his player's sentiments and certainly isn't downhearted.
"Some people will be writing us off now and saying it was too big a step and we are going to be fighting against relegation but we have only played two games. We have 44 more to play!
"We lost our first two in the UniBond League and still won the league.
"I know we are good enough to stay in the league but we have got to take our chances and be more clinical in front of goal.
"We played well on Tuesday and if we continue to play like that we will win more games than we lose.
"We have to realise that it is a tough league but we are a good side and we will get it right. I am not disheartened. We might have to strengthen a little bit but we will do it."
Goalkeeper Rob Elliot is still missing with a bruised ankle while winger Sean Doherty is out for two weeks with an ankle injury picked up at Chester. Andy Procter is suspended for three games.
Meanwhile Coleman is still in discussions with a striker and other players to strengthen his squad.
- STANLEY defender Andy Tretton will be out until Christmas following an operation on his knee.
- EX-REDS keeper Danny Alcock has joined Conference new boys Stafford Rangers.