Mark Hughes comes up against his former club Morecambe tomorrow – and knows Stanley can’t take anything for granted.
Hughes was the captain of the Shrimps during his spell there in 2013-15 but is now starring in defence for Stanley.
Morecambe have struggled this season and are in 19th place in League Two – 13 points above the relegation places – while the Reds are looking to secure a top three finish.
Hughes knows form counts for nothing when it’s a derby clash.
“It will be a great atmosphere,” said Hughes, 29. “There are a few lads who have played for both clubs and you do get to know each other as you see each other at service stations and pick-up points for away trips.
“They will want to come and spoil our party and they are a team who play free-flowing football, they like to get bodies forward which is shown in some of their 5-2, 4-2 scorelines.
“I enjoyed my time at Morecambe. I have a lot of respect for Jim (Bentley) and Ken (McKenna) and they have a good young team who score a lot of goals.
“They will be a tough nut to crack but we have lads who are in good form and we have a good squad so we are playing to get three points.”
Hughes came to the Reds in January after his release from Stevenage and has helped Stanley go on a seven game unbeaten run which has propelled them into third place.
“We believe we can stay there and our aim is even to go second, even though I know many people will think we should be happy with third.
“Oxford are only two points ahead of us and we are looking up. It’s a big test tomorrow but we are in a good place.”