John Coleman is keen for his Stanley side to keep themselves in touch with the top teams in League Two as they plot a promotion push for the New Year.

The Reds sit eleventh in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Cambridge United but are only two points worse off than Luton who sit in the second automatic promotion spot.

The manager believes the margins are looking finer than ever this season.

“We would’ve gone joint second if we’d won (against Mansfield) the other night,” he reflected. “We have to keep ourselves in the position that a couple of wins could take us to the automatics. The only way you do that is by winning games.

“Your fortunes can change very quickly in League Two. A bank of three or four wins propels you up the league but a bank of three or four losses can see you plummet. You’ve got to be mindful of that. I think the league is very open this year. It probably won’t be as strong at the top this year but it’ll be stronger across the league. I think there will be 24 teams all pushing each other and nobody will be cut adrift.

“I can see lots of twists and turns. Some teams might even end up involved at both ends of the table at one stage or another. We’ve just got to be mindful of getting enough points on the board to give us a chance after Christmas of competing where we want to be which is for the automatics or the play-offs.”

Stanley have lost just once on the road in League Two this season and are keen for that to continue at the Abbey Stadium.

Coleman doesn’t think there’s any particular reason for their away form and isn’t expecting it to make a big difference to the game this weekend.

“Perhaps teams come onto us a bit more and that creates space to counter attack,” he said. “I don’t really think we’re a counter attacking team but we can be useful in that respect.

“I don’t know whether teams have a different mindset when they play at home against us or not. All we know is that we have another difficult away trip on Saturday and the previous results on the road will have no bearing on that game.”