JOHN Coleman has told his Stanley players to raise their game - and their goals tally - to ensure they avoid a fourthsuccessive relegation scrap.
Coleman insists that his team must set their sights higher than Football League survival.
And the Stanley boss - himself a former striker - is banking on a bit more oomph in attack to push his side up the League Two table.
The arrival of much-heralded youngster Billy Kee on loan from Leicester, along with the permanent signing of Michael Symes and the return of Paul Mullin from a loan spell at Bradford, has created more competition for places up front.
Stanley scored just 42 goals in League Two last season - fewer than any other team in the division - and Coleman knows that record has to improve.
He said: "That’s something we’ve identified as our problem area, and hopefully we’ll rectify it this season.
"We’re most people’s favourites to go down this season. But I’ve been beating the drum to the players all through pre-season that we can’t afford to subscribe to that.
"They’ve got to raise their own expectations. They’ve got to believe that they’re going to do a lot better than they did last season.
"And there’s no reason why outsiders should influence what we think and how we perceive what we’re going to do.
"I’m still banging the drum at the players that they’ve got to keep raising their expectations and keep believing that they’re going to do better."
Coleman was still trying to add to his squad this week ahead of tomorrow’s League Two opener at Rotherham.
He said: "We’re not looking too bad. We’re still looking at bringing one or two more in.
"But I think we’ve got the basis of possibly the best squad that’s ever been assembled here.
"I think we’ve got good healthy competition now in all areas. That’s what you need."
Coleman has strengthened all areas of his team, having added Alan Martin to his goalkeeping roster, Darran Kempson and Dean Winnard to his defence and former Carlisle man Luke Joyce to his midfield, as well as Symes and Kee to the attack.
The Stanley boss added: "Everyone will know about Symes because he played on loan here last season. He did well when he came. Luke Joyce has impressed us with his attitude and his ability over the summer.
"Dean Winnard has done likewise, and Alan Martin coming in on loan from Leeds should give us a boost in the goalkeeping area."
The addition of 18-year-old Kee up front has caused plenty of excitement thanks to his extraordinary scoring record for Leicester’s youth and reserve teams, for who he scored a total of 46 goals in 43 games last season.
The Northern Ireland Under-19 international is now looking to make the step up to senior level.
Coleman said: "Billy Kee is a striker with a point to prove in the league. He’s scored at youth and reserve level, and at junior international level too, so now he’s got to prove it in the Football League, and he’s champing at the bit.
"He’ll find it difficult, but he’s got quite a wise head on his shoulders for someone so young. He’s got a good attitude towards the game and a good workrate, and I think that he’ll learn from some of the players here.
"And with myself and (assistant) Jimmy Bell being strikers, hopefully we can point him in the right direction for the goals."