John Coleman has urged his Stanley players to remain focused for the visit of 20th place Barnet tomorrow – warning there are no ‘easy’ games in League Two.
Stanley are looking to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since September when they face the Bees, following last Saturday’s 2-0 win at Crewe.
The Reds boss has sympathy with his opposite number Rossi Eames and believes that the division is as competitive as it’s ever been during his tenure.
“Barnet have been decimated with injuries,” he said. “They’ve got good players and we’ll have to be on our game or it will be difficult and everyone will think we’ll be winning this because of the past but it has no relationship to this game.
“You’ve got to take every game as it comes, that might be cliche ridden but it’s a harsh fact in this league. The players share that mindset because they’ve experienced it for themselves and they’ve had those disappointments, anyone who starts thinking that they’ve arrived, certainly at this level, they’ll often come crashing down with a bang.
“There are no easy games in this league. There’s no clear leader and no clear outstanding side but there’s nobody who you believe that you will rock up and beat on any given day.
“I personally think that come the end of the season it will be even tighter than last year, there could end up being about 14 teams in contention to go up – we’ve got to make sure we’re one of them.”
The Wham Stadium had become something of a fortress in 2017 for Stanley, only losing two games at home in 2017 prior to September – but defeats to Grimsby and Luton saw their home form dip.
But Coleman believes that the 1-0 victory over Coventry earlier this month was the perfect way to get back on track.
“The Coventry win was massive for us,” he said. “The home form suffered a bit of a blip and it had become a worry because you don’t want it to slip because it becomes a burden, the longer it goes on the more people talk about it and the more the players think about it.
“In fact the games that people would’ve doubted us in at home, Mansfield, Carlisle and Coventry we’ve gone and won those games but the games we’ve been considered bankers we haven’t.
“We’ve got a really tough test against Barnet on Saturday and we know we have, but we’ve got a good squad of players here who still haven’t hit their heights.
“Barnet’s season so far is a sign of how competitive this league is and we aren’t going to get carried away with ourselves, we know that we are only three or four poor results away from sliding down the table.”