John Coleman knows Saturday’s game against York City is a test of team’s mental as well as physical strength.
Stanley moved up to second spot with their 2-1 victory at Hartlepool midweek and, if they win their remaining three games, they are up.
But the Reds have drawn three of their last four games at the Wham Stadium and Coleman knows, with the finishing line so close, it’s a case of his players holding their nerve.
“We will be expected to win against York, like we could and should have won against Morecambe last Saturday but we never hit the heights I know we can and that should serve as a warning to us.
“You cannot guarantee what will happen on a football pitch – look at York beating Portsmouth midweek, that was a shock to many and we will have to play to our best.
“It is a difficult game for us – the last three games will all be tricky especially psychologically. It will be a mental test for us as every game will have its own pressures and it’s going to be tough.
“But we know, if we play the way we are capable of, we are a match for any team in this league as we have already shown.”
Coleman admits he does not like messing with his side and will only make changes if necessary – as he did bringing Tariqe Fosu in for his first start against Hartlepool, with the Reading loan winger grabbing the winner.
“I am not really a tinkerman,” said Coleman. “I do not subscribe to that. If I think a player is looking jaded and we have got the ability to replace them then I will. We always go for what is best on the day.”
He continued: “From day one, the players have been focused and driven on the top three and, while we have now definitely secured a place in the play-offs, I think that was accepted anyway.
“There is still a lot of football to be played but, as I said on Tuesday, it’s now about counting down the hours and not the games and if we can hit the heights I know we can, we have a great chance.”
Scott Brown is having treatment for his hamstring injury but York is too early for him while defender Joe Wright is back in training. Midfielder Matt Crooks is still battling his ankle injury.