John Coleman wants his players to keep their performance levels up for tomorrow night’s game with Exeter City.
The Reds have won their last two matches, against Notts County and Cambridge United, and head into the game having only lost once at home since the manager returned to the club.
Despite that fine record he’s concentrating on how his players perform individually and as a team.
“You can’t guarantee success in football,” he said. “Winning the game is the black and white version of success, but you can’t guarantee that, through no fault of your own. You could get a horrendous decision against you.
“The players all shake each other’s hands and wish each other all the best before a game. We’ve said when they’re doing that to look their team-mate in the eye, mean it, and then if you can look them in the eye and shake their hands after the game knowing you couldn’t have done anything more then whatever the result is you can be quite comfortable with yourselves.
“They’re the targets that we’re setting them and that’s the standard we expect – that if they can perform to their best, give it their best effort, then whatever the result you’ve got to accept it because that’s the nature of the game.
“It’s when you can do something more and you don’t do it; that’s when we feel they should police each other on that, they should demand more of each other. So far it’s been working.”
The Reds welcome an Exeter side unbeaten in their last two games and who have a good record at the Store First Stadium. Coleman is more than aware of the dangers that the Grecians pose.
“I’ve probably seen Exeter, after us, more than anyone else,” he explained. “I’ve seen them play four times. I know most of their players better than I know my kids at the moment!
“They are a very, very good footballing side and are widely acclaimed as being a great passing side and rightly so. They have some great footballers and we’ve got to come up with a plan to beat them.
“I’m sure they’ll have looked at us lately and there might be a little bit of fear in their camp.”
It’s another edition of Friday night football for the Reds and with a slightly earlier kick off time and discounts for neutrals the club are hoping to add some extra support.
“I think the atmosphere is critical,” added Coleman. “There seems to be a special atmosphere at Stanley for a night match and I’ve always enjoyed them all the time I’ve been here. Historically we didn’t get the greatest of gates for night matches, particularly midweeks, but maybe that’s slowly changing and the atmosphere is always really good. It certainly makes a difference to the players.”