JOHN Coleman has called for everyone connected with Accrington Stanley to stand up and be counted at tomorrow's (Sat) crunch clash with bottom side Torquay United.
The club have made a bold move to offer free admission for everyone for what has been billed as a must-win clash for the relegation-threatened Reds.
And the Stanley boss wants everyone to pull together to urge his side on to a vital League Two victory.
"Let's all get together and give it our best shot and see where it takes us," said the Reds chief, whose side are only out of the relegation places on goal difference.
"It is probably bigger than the Woking game last season when we won promotion because there is so much at stake - it has taken such a lot for us to get into the league.
"And if we don't stay in the league, it won't be for the want of trying as everyone at the club is doing everything to give us our best chance."
He admitted his comments after the defeat to Swindon last Saturday - that if Stanley lose to Torquay then he thinks they will be relegated - were made in the the heat of the moment after the 2-0 defeat but he also knows how much the three points will mean to his side.
"Some people have had a go about what I said. But I am a realist and this is a watershed game for us and there is no point beating about the bush. We have got to stand up and be counted - me, Jimmy (Bell, assistant manager), Eric (Whalley, chairman), the players and the crowd.
"I really, really want to win every game I play which is why I get so upset when we lose. I want us to do so well.
"I was down on Saturday after the loss to Swindon but now it is another day and it has been a good week with the players and everything is positive."
He says a bumper crowd will make a huge difference at the Fraser Eagle Stadium with hopes of a 3,500 attendance - with the Gulls, who also have free entry, believed to be bringing around 500 fans.
"Me and Eric were toying with what to do on the way back from Swindon as we wanted to stay positive and we wanted a big push for the final five home games," said Coleman who is hoping to break a bad home run of one win in 12 home matches.
"With free entry there is no excuse. If they don't come tomorrow the ground will never be full again.
"Myself, the players and Eric are not exempt from making mistakes but Eric has dealt a strong first serve into the town and it is up to them to respond with a return.
"It is not an empty gesture. He recognises it is one of the biggest games in our history and we need everyone to get together - we need the town to support us."
Coleman is upbeat and, with nine league games left for the Conference champions, he believes they will not be the first club to immediately drop back into non league after being promoted.
"I am really looking forward tomorrow now. I will be nervous - I get nervous before every game, it is my make up because I desire to win so much," he said.
"But I am confident. If we win it is a huge step for us and it will give us confidence for the rest of the season.
"If we win our remaining five home games we are safe, regardless of what happens with the Football League hearing."
The Reds have been charged by the Football League for fielding two ineligible players - Preston striker Chris McGrail who came on work experience and young keeper Martin Fearon.
Even though McGrail just made two substitute appearances and Fearon never came off the bench, Stanley won seven points in the three games they were involved in and there is a threat of a fine and/or points deduction when they go before the Football Disciplinary Committee on March 30. The Reds though are confident they have a strong case.
But Coleman refuses to be side-tracked by that and is just focusing on tomorrow's huge clash.
The Reds boss continued: "Torquay is the start of the big leg for us - the final run-in - and the players have always responded under pressure so I expect the same tomorrow.
"And this is where the crowd will help. As a player, I always responded to big crowds. People have said we didn't respond to a good following at Rochdale but I think circumstances dictated that.
"If we start off positive, it will get everyone in the ground positive.
"And big crowds tend, for some reason, to give you more energy. It gives you a willingness to chase what seems a lost cause. In any walk of life, if you have a lot people egging you on you always try harder.
"That's what we need from the crowd. We need everyone connected with the club to be pulling in the same direction and hopefully then everything will go right and we will get the three points."
Coleman has signed centre half Godwin Antwi on loan for a month from Liverpool and he is likely to make his debut tomorrow.
The Ghana-born player was a big part of Liverpool's FA Youth Cup winning side last season.
"He did exceptionally well in our friendly at Everton midweek and has a smashing attitude," said Coleman. "He is fast and good in the air and a good player."
He has also made an enquiry for Southport midfielder Carl Baker.
"I have been in touch with Southport. I would like him to come before the weekend but I am not sure yet.
"It is difficult as it is a catch-22 situation. I have asked about a couple more players but you usually want players who are currently playing regularly but the club's don't want to let them go."
Liverpool loan keeper David Martin is also set to be back at the club for the weekend after injurying his ankle on his debut against Lincoln.
Defender Phil Edwards, however, is suspended.
"It is a shame as Phil had started to come good but we have Peter Cavanagh who is more than an able replacement although he has a slight tweak on his groin," said Coleman.
And the boss now can't wait for the kick off tomorrow.
"Eight years ago we had tough games in the UniBond First Division where we had to win. We would have done anything to be this position now."
- MIDFIELDER Tony Grant could need an operation on his Achilles while defender Alan Rogers, who was on non contract terms at Stanley, is believed to have left the club.