John Coleman admits he feels for supporters, players and staff of Leyton Orient amid continued off the field problems at the club but can’t afford for his Stanley team to provide any assistance on the pitch tomorrow.
The O’s are in the High Court next week faced with a winding up petition from HM Revenue and Customs and second from bottom in League Two heading into the game.
Coleman, who was manager when the Reds faced their own winding up order in 2009, knows how it feels to not know what the future holds for your club.
“We can absolutely empathise with them,” he explained. “We’ve been there and the uncertainty is very unsettling and you’d sooner know one way or the other what was happening to be honest rather than have it hanging over you.
“The manager has gone in and is using a lot of young players and getting mixed results which is what you’d probably expect.
“It’s the sort of thing nobody wants to go through but as staff and players you can try to turn it perversely into a positive and you can get a response from that. I think Morecambe got a great response to their woes and the first time we made the play-offs we used that ‘us and them’ situation as a motivation.”
Stanley head into the match at the Wham Stadium unbeaten in six and having won their last two but Coley thinks the visitors will be just as determined as his side to take the points.
“The players will be scrapping for their futures really and we know that means it’ll be a difficult game for us,” he continued. “We also know that a lot of people will expect us to win it so if you do win you don’t get any credit and if you lose the league position is there for all to see.
“We certainly won’t be going into the game taking it lightly at all because they’ve proven that they can get results. They went and won 4-0 at Newport and as much as Newport have had their own problems there won’t be many teams who have beaten them by that margin.
“It’s a game that is fraught with danger for us. Our record against bottom two teams is very poor and so we have to do things right. The players have got the bit between their teeth at the moment and we have to make sure that we stay focused and don’t let things in the media distract us.
“I think if we can win tomorrow we can make the gap to Orient even bigger and make it very difficult for them to catch us. I want us to finish as high as we can. I’d like to see us get at least 60 points, which I think our play this season has deserved. That means taking a lot of points from the next bank of games. We have 12 games left to go and our last six have yielded 12 points which is the type of return you’d hope to get from a team of our ability.”