JOHN Coleman is certainly learning lessons the hard way as a Football League manager.
The Reds boss admitted he didn't expect an easy run as a League Two chief despite, pre-season, many press and public anticipating the Conference champions would take the division by immediate storm.
Instead, it has been a tricky start with the former school teacher now prepared to call on all his managerial know-how to lift his side up the table.
On Saturday, the defeat to Notts County made it one win in seven league games, six goals conceded in their last two outings and a side which are not used to being at the wrong end of the table.
In all Coleman's managerial career, his teams have never finished in the lower half and now he is ready to mastermind a plan to stop the Reds scrapping down at the bottom for too long.
And the plotting started big-time after the trip to Meadow Lane where another nice pitch and impressive stadiun wasn't kind to Stanley.
They conceded three goals in the opening 35 minutes - one from a corner and two from free kicks - and only two injury-time goals gave the score some respectability which County fans could hardly believe after outplaying the Reds for most of the game.
And Coleman won't stand for any more performances like this.
"It was too little, too late and it was shambolic defending," said a dejected boss. "We made the brighter start and then to go to sleep on a free kick like we have done in the past this season is heartbreaking.
"Then we are chasing the game and they scored from three set plays. 3-0 down after 35 minutes and you are fearing the worst but I said we had to go and get a bit of pride back and not concede in the second half.
"I think there is a lot more in us at the moment and we are not so much shooting ourselves in the foot as cutting both our legs off.
"And it seems to be happening every time we play and I have got to take some responsibility for that. I pick the team and it is up to me either to get better personnel in or get players who can do the specific jobs that I have given them."
Coleman was forced to tinker with the side with Peter Cavanagh and Michael Welch suspended so right back Danny Ventre and Phil Edwards got their first starts of the season.
But it had all gone wrong with 11 minutes on the clock, a Dan Martin free kick was latched onto by Mike Edwards who beat the off-side trap and his shot went in off the inside of the post - another early goal conceded by the Reds.
The referee made it a stop-start game in the early stages but County piled on the pressure, forcing four successive corners. From these, livewire Junior Mendes scuffed a shot from three yards out and Ian Dubavin pushed out a Martin volley.
Then, from the fourth flag kick, Martin whipped it in and Stanley's Robbie Williams got a touch to it and suddenly the Reds were 2-0 down.
Ian Craney then tried to create something by racing to the edge of the area but the end product was easy for keeper Kevin Pilkington. That, though, was a rare excursion into the County half as the Magpies dominated.
Stanley's goalie Dunbavin had a lucky escape when he was caught out of goal but Phil Edwards saved him and then, after the whistle had blown for a free kick, the keeper kicked the ball which hit a County player - and the yellow card could have been harsher.
But they were punished enough as Martin curled that free kick round the wall and into the bottom corner of the net with Dunbavin static.
35 minutes and any hopes of three points had gone.
There was one bright moment at the end of the half though when Rommy Boco put through Gary Roberts who charged into the area unmarked but chose to cross rather than shoot and Paul Mullin couldn't get there.
Coleman told his players to go out and keep a clean sheet after the break with Ventre substituted with a fear of a second yellow card and Williams hobbling off.
It meant Andy Todd slotted into the unfamilair right back role - and did well - Julien N'Da was centre half and Sean Doherty entered play on the right wing and showed some nice touches.
And the Reds improved. A Roberts strike was pushed out by Pilkington and Doherty chipped the follow-up wide. Wideman Doherty then worked hard to set up Craney but the midfielder fired into the side netting.
But the Reds couldn't capitalise and the game seemed to be petering out until sub Andy Mangan was tripped by Edwards in the penalty area on 90 minutes and Roberts made it three goals in three games by firing high into the net.
County went straight down the other end and were unlucky not to have a spot kick of their own when Andy Procter's tackle was dubious but the ref, Mr Graham, waved play on.
And then Stanley upset the disbelieving home fans by getting another one back on 93 minutes when Craney fired goalwards, the keeper could only push it out to Mullin who chested the ball into the net for his first League Two goal.
Everyone was stunned and there was one more attack before the County fans were unexpectedly relieved to hear the whistle.
"We defended better in the second half but you have to wonder if they have taken their foot of the gas as they are 3-0 up and in their eyes the game is won," said Coleman.
"We could have had John Terry playing but if you don't mark your men from free kicks, it doesn't matter who the personnel is - you are going to concede.
"Players have got to realise the jobs they have got to do and stick to those jobs. If they don't, maybe come January, some of them might be on their way."