ANDY Procter is ready for Sven Goran Eriksson and co – and is hoping the Reds can show their promotion credentials by beating moneybags Notts County.
Stanley have lost just once in 11 games in all competitions and are five points outside the League Two play-offs with a game in hand.
Fourth placed County are currently in some turmoil with owner Munto Finance putting them up for sale this week, but it doesn’t alter a home record that sees the Magpies yet to lose at Meadow Lane.
But that counts for nothing for the Reds skipper who is helping to lead Stanley to a successful season – the third round of the FA¿Cup, the Northern section semi-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and within touching distance of the promotion pack.
"The games are coming thick and fast now and it is hard to think about each one," said the 26-year-old.
"But obviously the gaffer doesn’t need to motivate us when we come up against a team like Notts County who have spent a lot of money and have some big names playing for them with Sven looking on.
"It shows what money can do as they were battling with us against relegation over the last few seasons.
"However, for all their money, we are only seven points behind them with a game in hand and, while people may be looking at how far they have come with money, look at how far we have come despite our recent financial troubles.
"They may have an unbeaten record at home but so did Barnet, who we beat on Tuesday and we had never beaten Rochdale until this season.
"The confidence is really high at the moment. We have a tight squad, if small, and the spirit is really good.
"It’s a young squad as well as, at 26, I was the oldest player against Barnet on Tuesday.
"And there are players at the club who have a point to prove, such as Michael Symes. He was released by Shrewsbury and is showing them and there’s Luke Joyce and Dean Winnard. All the players have taken their chance and taken the bull by the horns. I think that’s what’s making us difficult to beat this season."
Stanley’s away form has let them down in past seasons where they have been battling relegation but they are unbeaten in five on their travels in all competitions.
Procter continued: "We always set ourselves a target to be in and around the play-offs at the business end of the season and unfortunately we haven’t been able to do it in League Two.
"But we know, to change this, we have to pick up results on our travels and we have to beat teams like Notts County if we are to be viewed as true promotion contenders."
And, after raising their game for Notts County, the Reds then travel to League One pacesetters Leeds United on Tuesday for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern semi-final - a real David v Goliath clash.
The Elland Road club’s average attendance is 24,500 and it could be the biggest crowd many of the Reds players have played in front of.
"It is a massive time for us," said the captain. "This could be a time that defines our season.
"It is hard to take it all in with all the games we have played and you barely recover from one when they next one is upon you, but obviously Leeds is massive for us.
"I used to go to Leeds Metropolitan University and used to live in Leeds so have quite a few friends who are Leeds fans and I have driven past Elland Road so many times and watched Blackburn there. probably not believing I would ever play there.
"So it’s huge for me, they have a great following and we go there with nothing to lose."
Defender Tom Lees, who is on loan from Leeds, is being treated at Elland Road at the moment for an injury. He couldn’t feature against his parent club and is a doubt for tomorrow.
However Blackburn Rovers loanee Johnny Flynn comes back into the frame after being cup-tied on Tuesday night which gives manager John Coleman a headache at the back with Darran Kempson and Phil Edwards the regular starters at centre back.
John Miles returns from a three-game suspension but might struggle to win his place back immediately in a side who have won their last three games.