Staying out of trouble is Leam's message
LEAM Richardson has challenged his players to make sure they never slip into the relegation zone again this season, as Accrington Stanley attempt to follow up a fine midweek win when they host fellow strugglers Torquay tomorrow.
Stanley climbed out of the bottom two with a 3-0 victory at Rochdale on Tuesday, secured thanks to three goals in a dramatic final 15 minutes.
Richardson is now targeting back to back league victories for the first time since September as the Reds face a Torquay side who are trying to avoid a club record eighth straight defeat.
The Gulls – now only one point above Stanley, having been in the play-off spots at the end of October – brought in former Bury boss Alan Knill as interim manager last week, with Martin Ling on sick leave because of a debilitating illness.
And Richardson has stressed that Stanley must maintain their momentum and move well clear of the drop zone, believing the shock of briefly falling into the bottom two may have had a positive effect on his squad. “I think it was a reality check to a fair few people when we did go below that line,” said the Reds boss.
“If that’s the catalyst that they need to realise what potentially could have been, and if a few people need that visual effect, then great, because nobody likes seeing that at all – nobody around the place and nobody around the town.
“Hopefully they’ve had that realisation and it won’t happen again.”
The Reds boss is assessing the calf injury picked up by defender Mark Hughes on Tuesday, with Tom Aldred on stand-by to step in to the back four.
Richardson has been pleased with recent performances, including the display in last weekend’s 2-2 home draw with Cheltenham, and knows the importance of maintaining that standard for the rest of the season.
“It was nice after the game on Tuesday that a couple of the senior players addressed it straight away,” he said. “We enjoy the win but it means nothing if we don’t back it up against Torquay.
“We’ll prepare as best as we can to get back to back wins because we’re coming into some great form.
“The message to the lads is this is the biggest game of their lives.
“Alan Knill has gone in at Torquay, he will be trying to pull everyone together and we’ve got to be conscious of that. Adversity potentially makes them very dangerous.
“But it puts us above Torquay if we beat them and drags another couple of clubs into the deeper end of the table.
“Hopefully we’re picking up form and momentum, whereas some teams are doing the opposite.”