STANLEY boss John Coleman was aiming to have two new players lining up tonight in their final friendly clash at home to a Blackburn XI (ko 7.30pm).
Coleman was hoping to seal a deal for Leeds United keeper Alan Martin and defender Tom Lees yesterday as he looks ahead to the August 8 kick off at Rotherham.
The Reds’ chief was also offering striker Gary King a deal until January while negotiations were continuing with defender Chris King who has been offered a six month deal at the Crown Ground.
Scottish Under 19 stopper Martin has been chased by Coleman for some time and it looks like it could be a season-long loan deal for the 20-year-old who will rival Ian Dunbavin for the Number One jersey.
He played on loan at Barrow last season with Bluebirds boss Dave Bayliss singing his praises, calling him a "class act."
Leeds centre half Lees, 18, is looking to go out and get some first team experience after signing a three-year deal at Elland Road in January following a bad knee injury. "He comes highly recommended," said Coleman.
Meanwhile, ex-Lincoln frontman Gary King has impressed in several pre-season friendlies for the Reds.
"Gary has a good appetite for the game, an eye for goal and he offers competition for places," said Coleman. "We are still trying to sort something out with Chris King and I will make a decision on trialists Lewis Field and Ross Lloyd this week."
And the Stanley chief still hasn’t ruled out adding another striker to his side before the opening date with the Millers.
"There is another option that we are looking at," said Coleman.
With a strikeforce of Paul Mullin, Michael Symes, Billy Kee and Gary King already, there are high expectations that the goals which were lacking last season will come. The Reds, who finished 16th, scored 42 league goals in their 46 games.
And with a choice of defenders with the arrival of Darran Kempson, Dean Winnard and possible Lees to bolster the backline, Coleman has high hopes.
"We are getting there," continued Coleman. " The year before last we were the third or fourth highest scorers in the league and scored as many as MK Dons and Peterborough who were scoring for fun - but we conceded 84 goals.
"Last season, we considerably tightened up and conceded about the same as Rochdale and Shrewsbury, who got into the play-offs, but we didn’t score anywhere near enough goals.
"I can’t put my finger on why it happened. We had a host of chances but, for some reason, they just didn’t got in for us. Hopefully they will this year with good, strong competition for places which we have been lacking."
Meanwhile, with the big kick off just a week away, the bookmakers aren’t predicting big things for the Reds. They don’t have Stanley troubling the upper echelons of League Two.
Stanley are rank outsiders at 125/1 with Boylesports to top the league while bet365 post 33/1 against Coleman’s side gaining promotion to League One by any means.
And Victor Chandler offer 14/1 for the Accrington boss to enjoy a flying start to the campaign and clinch August’s Manager of the Month accolade.
Sadly, a relegation scrap is deemed a more realistic prospect by the bookies who have the Reds among the favourites at 11/4 with Stan James to go down.
However there may be greater concern for fans of Macclesfield 7/2 (Sportingbet) and Aldershot 6/1 (Betfred) who are also among the favourites for the drop.
The takeover of Notts County and the Magpies’ appointment of former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson as Director of Football have sent their championship odds tumbling. Trading at 25/1 before the summer’s major developments, County are now 5/1 at Jaxx.com to top the pile.
The Magpies are followed by Rotherham, an 8/1 shot with Ladbrokes. A 10/1 shot at Betdaq meanwhile, Bradford are also tipped to mount a strong challenge.
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com.