ACCRINGTON head to the North Lancs coast tonight in ‘top of the table’ form, according to manager John Coleman.
The Reds are unbeaten in eight after their 1-1 draw at Yeovil on Saturday and will be desperate to claim a first win over Morecambe since October 2014.
While Coleman accepts that climbing the table between now and May would signal a decent campaign, their recent form shows what might have been.
“It’s frustrating because if we do manage to get ourselves into the top half of the table, with the two good cup runs and with our standing in the financial rankings in the table, it will be an excellent season,” he said.
“But from my own point of view, the team I’ve got I know is capable of being much higher, certainly in the play-offs.
“We went through an horrific run. We’ve only got ourselves to blame because we’re the ones who went out and tried to win every week and didn’t score enough goals.
“I really wish our season had started eight games ago because on current form we’d be top of the league.”
Morecambe, who sit a place and a point above Stanley in the table, have had their own trials and tribulations to contend with this campaign.
An ownership tussle saw wages delayed late last year and manager Jim Bentley has received plenty of praise for keeping his side going on the pitch.
Coleman, who has experienced similar situations during his time at the Wham Stadium, says his opposite number deserves all the credit he’s getting.
He said: “They had a great spell. Similar to ourselves, the run we’ve been on, any fears of relegation are quickly dissipated.“They’ve been through the mill with the ownership problems and all credit to Jim and Kenny (McKenna) for rallying the players and putting that to the back of their mind, and focusing on the football.
“They’ve had some great results and I think that’s testament to how good they are as a management duo.
“There was a little spell where there were some dissenting voices with the fans questioning his position, which I thought was absolute madness.
“What he’s managed to achieve there is very, very good, but we’re in this day and age where people want instant gratification and they want it even if it’s not due or it’s not realistic.
“I think people should be a bit more patient and enjoy it for what it is.
“They’re in the Football League – I played for Morecambe in the Northern Prem and the Conference was just a pipe dream then. So they should enjoy where they are.”
Coleman added: “I know exactly what they’ve been through. It’s difficult when the players aren’t getting paid because they’ve got to pay mortgages, they’ve got families.”
“In a perverse way you can use it to motivate you - we’re going to play well in spite of all our problems.
“That’s what we tried to do and it worked for us to a certain extent.”
Morecambe came back from 2-0 down to win the reverse fixtures in August 3-2.
Coleman said: “I’m still scratching my head how we lost that game – 2-0 up and cruising, and then we had a man sent off and we fell apart,” he said. “But we’re a different animal now.”