JOHN Coleman admits this season has been a disappointment - but now he wants a rousing end to the campaign.
The Reds picked up their first win in four games on Tuesday night with an important 1-0 victory over Brentford.
It moves them 10 points clear from the League Two relegation zone with 12 games left of what has been a frustrating campaign.
Reds boss Coleman, in pre-season, had high hopes of taking the Reds up towards the play-offs and challenging for League One.
It hasn’t worked out like that with just four points out of the last 33 but now he wants his side to build on their Bees’ victory.
"It has been very disappointing," admitted Coleman, with his side in 17th place in the league on 39 points.
"I think we will probably finish with more points than last season - when we got 50 - but overall I am more disappointed.
"I thought I had the makings of a good squad at the start of the season and I don’t know why it hasn’t worked out.
"We have had a really bad spell and lost a lot of games.
"And we have to beware as, after we beat Chester, we then lost the next three games so we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again and keep our standards up. We cannot keep having spells like that.
"There is a long way to go but we have to continue to play our high energy, high impact game.
"There is a lot of hard work to be done between now and the end of the season."
Stanley’s unlikely goal hero from Tuesday, Leam Richardson, has backed his manager.
"We have 12 games left and we need to get a couple more wins as quickly as possible and then build on that and see where it takes us," said Richardson, who scored his first goal for the Reds since joining in 2005.
"I think we are in a false position at the moment - we know we are better than that - and we have got to show it.
"The win against Brentford gives us a bit of confidence and it was a huge relief with the games running out as we needed to get the points out of it."
Coleman had hoped to boost his side with the signing of Portuguese defender Paulo Monteira, on loan from Charlton for a month.
The tall centre half has played for his country from Under 17 level upwards and came over to the Addicks recently but the Reds’ boss admits the deal is now on hold and may not happen.
"We cannot register him because he has not got international clearance and he will not be available tomorrow," said Coleman.
"I am still looking at bringing in another defender, though."
The Reds’ chief might need cover as Sean Webb, Richardson and striker Paul Mullin are all currently on four bookings. Mark Roberts and Andy Procter have three yellow cards.
And he was dealt a further blow with news that centre half Robbie Williams will be out longer with his knee injury. He has already missed the last six games
"He returned to training but unfortunately he suffered a set back on his knee," said Coleman, as Williams might now see a specialist.
But the Reds are confident they can extend the contract of defender Aswad Thomas until the end of the season.
The youngster is coming towards the end of his one-month loan deal from Charlton.
And, although Andy Todd is on loan from tomorrow’s opponents Rotherham, chairman Eric Whalley says there is nothing in the contract between the two clubs to stop the winger playing.
Meanwhile, Coleman was also waiting to talk to Rushden and Diamonds as David Brown’s one month loan spell was up today with the Blue Square Premier side.
Now, though, it is all systems go for tomorrow’s trip to promotion-chasing Rotherham, who beat the Reds 1-0 earlier this season, as they look for rare back-to-back victories.
"I think we gave them an easy ride at our place and we want to give them a different opinion of us and show them what we are all about," said Coleman.
"They are a well-organised, big physical side and we have got to be up for the game and work at getting ourselves right."
Rotherham are challenging for automatic promotion but there has been talk of them going into administration - like last season - and facing a 10 point deduction.
* STANLEY’S reserve team, featuring Andy Procter, Leighton McGivern, Mark King and Graham Branch lost 5-0 to Manchester City on Wednesday. The second string travel to Chester next week (ko 2pm).
* RELEGATION-threatened Macclesfield have changed their manager. Ian Brightwell has left the 22nd placed club and ex-Lincoln boss Keith Alexander has taken over.
* MATCH REPORTS: See newspaper