Rommy Boco knows it’s a big month for Accrington Stanley as they look to climb up the League Two table.
Reds boss Leam Richardson has already added right back Nicky Hunt and wideman Laurie Wilson to his side with the transfer window opening on Tuesday.
He has also signed Bury keeper Cameron Belford on loan for another week and is in talks with new deals for young striker Marcus Carver and teenage keeper Andy Dawber.
And, with the 17th placed Reds now facing teams around them in Dagenham, Aldershot, AFC Wimbledon and Plymouth, January could be vital to determine at which end of the table the Reds will be battling.
“It’s very tight and we need to pick up as many points as we can,” said Boco who scored the winner against former boss Paul Cook in the Chesterfield New Year’s Day clash.
“We need to get the points in this month against teams around us as in February we have some big games, against some of the teams at the top like Port Vale, Southend and Cheltenham, and so we need to get wins to set us up for that.
“It will be good if we can get in the top half of the table.
“At the moment we don’t look like we will get there but we have got to keep picking up points and, when there are 10 games to go, look at where we are then.”
Boco was impressed by former Bolton right back Hunt who has signed on a month’s loan from Rotherham.
“You could tell on the right side than there was more experience and we were sharper,” he said.
“You do need players with more experience who can read the game and stop the mistakes which have been costly this season,” said the Benin international.
“If the club can get players like that coming in, it will be good for us.
“When you see these types of players at the club, it’s better and more enjoyable for the fans who travel away as seeing a team get beat every week is no motivation to travel so it’s nice and hopefully we can now build on the Chesterfield win.”
Hunt, 29, who was at Bolton with Richardson, is just happy to be getting a game.
“I am here for a month and I enjoyed it on Tuesday, I just want to be playing football,” he said. “I obviously know Leam as he was at Bolton with me and I know he will be a great manager and I have come here to hopefully continue winning games.
“It was good to have a winning start and to play for a manager who wants to sign you.
“We showed a lot of grit and determination against Chesterfield and now it’s all about looking towards Saturday and Dagenham.
“It has been frustrating for me as I was signed by Rotherham, played the first eight or nine games and then fell out of favour.
“It’s hard training every day without a game at the end of it.
“It wasn’t to be at Rotherham and now I am happy to be here and it’s local for me.
“I know Beats (James Beattie) as he lives near me and it helps when you come to a club and know the manager and some of the players. It helps you settle in easily.”
The Reds are looking to extend Beattie’s contract, which finishes on January 9, until the end of the season and Richardson feels he is putting together the team he wants after inheriting Cook’s players and being unable to change much outside of the loan and transfer windows.
And he is excited about adding wideman Wilson, who was Morecambe’s player of the season in 2011/12 before signing for Rotherham in the summer but was released with just five appearances under his belt.
“I know Laurie from playing against him and he knows a lot of our lads,” said Richardson.
“He has played lot of games and is a good player at this level. He can play most positions, play them well and make us stronger.
“For Nicky, we have been looking to fill the right back role for a while and people have filled in and done a great job but we have needed a right back and hopefully Nicky will fill that void.”
Richardson was buoyed by the win over Chesterfield which kicks off 2013 in style and also ends a run of nine games without a win which had seen the Reds drop down the table.
“It’s a new year and a new start,” said Richardson.
“It’s what we said to the lads before the Chesterfield game.
“January seems easier on paper as we always knew December would be hard but it will still be tough and we must come through it with points. I am just glad January is here where I can affect things.
“We created some great openings against Chesterfield, got the win and hopefully that breeds confidence.
“You could see us snatching at things before but hopefully we can kick on now.
“Nicky and Beats add a bit more experience and the younger lads should grow in confidence working alongside them.
“We need to put a little run together. The lads felt a little bit hard done by in December with the likes of Bradford, Plymouth and Burton where we didn’t get what we felt we deserved from them.
“We really want to do well and, if we play like we did against Chesterfield and add a few more players, we will be fine.”
Richardson has something of a goalkeeper dilemma as both loan stoppers Paul Rachubka and Belford have done well for the Reds. Leeds keeper Rachubka, who was on a week-to-week emergency loan deal which has ended, sits out the final game of his three-match ban on Saturday.
January could also see some of Stanley’s fringe players move on as Richardson frees up some wages for new players.