MICHAEL Welch knows all about losing streaks - but he now hopes Accrington Stanley have the spark to get out of their current run.
The Reds have lost their last five league games and desperately need a win tomorrow (Sat) at home to Shrewsbury Town in a re-arranged League Two clash with both sides out of the FA Cup.
And the 24-year-old defender is confident Stanley's battling second half show against League One Doncaster on Tuesday in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat will be the springboard they need to get the three points.
"I have unfortunately been through a worse run than this as I think we didn't win for about 10 or 11 games at Macclesfield and we went down to second from bottom of the League," said Welch.
"It is a weird feeling as you go through the emotions but then we had a jolt and moved back up the league and I think that Tuesday night could be the jolt we needed here.
"In the second half at Doncaster, we rallied around and worked for each other and we just seemed to have a belief that has been missing in the last few games.
"The last few weeks have been strange and difficult especially after all the success of last season but hopefully we can now kick on."
The last time Stanley picked up any kind of points in the league was on October 14 - six weeks ago.
"We just haven't managed to get a foothold in some games, especially recently where teams seem to be scoring early and it makes it difficult as we always seem to be chasing the game," continued Welch. "We know we have got to try and stop that.
"I have been in this position before though and I know that just one win can make all the difference.
"We are a young side and we don't have a lot of league experience.
"In age, there is Mullers (Paul Mullin), Rocky (Robbie Williams) and Leam Richardson, then there is me. I am only 24 and the most experienced in terms of league games .
"But I know we have ability. Hopefully Tuesday will have inspired a few of the players as we weren't outshone by a very good League One side and we can take a lot of comfort from that - now we have got to press on in the league.
"We have to learn and learn fast but I am sure we will. There is a rush of games coming up, especially over Christmas, and that could make a big difference."
Welch is meanwhile hoping to get on the scoresheet and add to his two goal tally this season - and boost Stanley who have scored just once in the last four games.
"I am definitely on free kicks now Ian (Craney) and Gary (Roberts) have gone. I couldn't get near them with them two here but I will let no one else near them now!"
Although the Reds are in 19th position, they are just 13 points off sixth place - the final play-off spot - in a tightly bunched league.
"It is always like this," said Welch, who spent five seasons with Macclesfield in the bottom tier. "The top four or five usually pull away and then the bottom one or two drop away but the rest tend to be tightly packed.
"I remember at Macclesfield we were struggling in the bottom spots, won our last game and finished just three points outside the play-offs.
"And you have to look at Accrington. We beat Torquay in October and all the talk was of the play-offs and, if we had beat Hereford, we would have been in them.
"However, we dropped down but there is plenty of opportunity and time to move back up again."
Meanwhile boss John Coleman has called on his players to show some passion tomorrow.
"Shrewsbury are a good side but when we click into gear we are a good side," said the boss. "If we show the passion and determination which we showed in the second half on Tuesday then we won't have too many problems.
"We are all in it together and we can't let our heads go down. We need some big characters out there and I am the biggest of the lot.
"I have a big desire and am good at my job. I have got to encourage players to take some responsibility and take us out of what you say is the slump we are in.
"We have lost three influential players in Gary Roberts, Rommy Boco and Ian Craney and it is a different side now who have their own attributes and these have to come to the fore."