John Coleman is surprised to see tomorrow’s opponents Dagenham and Redbridge struggling at the foot of League Two but knows his Stanley side can’t afford to show their hosts any sympathy.
The Reds head south today ahead of tomorrow’s match with the Football League’s bottom club.
The Stanley boss saw his team beaten 4-0 on their previous visit to Victoria Road and he expected that to be a sign of things to come.
“I’m very surprised to see Dagenham down there,” said Coleman. “They battered us at their place towards the end of last season and I was tipping them for promotion this year. That shows how much I know about football!
“It can quickly change in football. You can go from relegation candidates to promotion contenders in a season. You just need a bit of belief and a little bit of luck. When that luck goes for you it’s great and when it goes against you it’s heartbreaking. They’re still fighting for their lives and that will make this game even tougher.
“When you’re down there you tend to throw more caution to the wind and sometimes teams can pin you back when they are fighting for their lives. We have to be big and strong, stand up to that and play our game.”
The Daggers sit nine points below the dotted line in the table and while it is a contrasting tale for a Stanley side four points from third spot, Coleman still believes there’s an imperative for his team to get as many points as they possibly can.
“We’ve given ourselves a mini mountain to climb to catch the teams who are above us,” he explained. “Not only have we got to catch Oxford and Plymouth, we now have to catch Bristol Rovers.
“We face another difficult task against Dagenham. We know the way they play, they’ll know the way we play and we’ll have to be at the top of our game and get everyone firing.
“Somewhere along the line we’ll have to string three or four wins together if we want to make the automatic places.”