John Coleman is delighted to be crowned Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for February – but says it will mean more if he wins it again in the next two months as it should mean Stanley are going up.

The Reds were fifth when February began, jostling for a position in the play-off places. However 16 points out of a possible 18 lifted them into second, within three points of leaders Luton – and they have since closed the gap to one point. The two meet tomorrow in a top-of-the-table clash.

“It’s obviously about the team and the Manager of the Month Award should go to the team,” said Coleman.

“Saying that if I win it in either of the next two months it should mean we are going up so I will be more than happy to accept it in March or April!

“Hard work has been vital to what we’ve done in February, we didn’t have the best December, and we knew we had to knuckle down and work a bit harder and apply ourselves a bit better, and we did.”

George Burley, who chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel, said: “A packed schedule can either be a blessing or a curse, but John Coleman and his team took full advantage of their great form and are now serious contenders for automatic promotion with 16 points from six games in February.

“An important comeback against Stevenage started the run going as Accrington Stanley remained unbeaten through February.”

While, Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “When the games come thick and fast, you find out a lot about your players, and Coleman’s team of seasoned pros coped brilliantly with the demanding fixture list.

“With a few of the older lads still nursing the painful memories of having promotion snatched from them two seasons ago, Coleman won’t have to search too hard for motivating the squad for the run-in this season.”

Defender Jimmy Dunne, on loan from Burnley, missed out on the Player of the Month award as this went to Swindon’s Marc Richards.