James Beattie’s keen to guide his side to victory at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow – and become the first Stanley manager to beat Oxford United in the progress.

The Reds haven’t won against the U’s in nine previous meetings but the boss feels there’s a confidence in the squad that they can change that.

“I didn’t know that a little bit of history could be made,” he said. “Little things like that all contribute to trying to be successful and I want the club to be successful and to be able to help the players on their own individual journeys.

“We go into every game trying to win it. That’s what we’re all about. I believe with the way we’ve grown and the way we’ve come on as a team we’re in a position where we can do that.

“We’ll be going down to Oxford with those intentions in mind. I know there was a bit of speculation earlier in the season about me being their next manager but as I said at the time I never heard anything from Oxford. My concentration and focus has always been on keeping this club in the league.

“I believe, and have always believed, wholeheartedly in the squad and I believe we can go there and get a result.”

The Reds are 18th in the League Two table and set for another season of league football barring a freakish swing in goal difference.

Beattie insists the relegation situation isn’t in their mind as they prepare to head south, with a top half finish still a possibility with two games left to play.

“The players have taken it into their own hands that they want to finish as high as possible and make sure that the recovery is complete,” he explained.

“Because Bristol Rovers and Wycombe play each other it would have to be a miracle of Noah proportions for us to go down now but we just want to get as many points as we can. We want to improve on last year and we won’t be taking our foot off the gas.

“I think it’s a remarkable achievement for the club to stay in the league no matter what start we have. I though last year was great management by Leam and then he moved onto Chesterfield. This year’s been a bit of a rollercoaster with the start that we had, I’m sure that there was a lot of negativity around us with ten games gone and I’m sure people wrote us off.

“It’s nice to be able to prove people wrong. I’m going to try to champion the lads and what they’ve achieved this season as much as I can. Nobody has mentioned it at the moment but we’re just trying to finish off the season as strong as possible.”