Stanley to keep up air defences
ACCRINGTON Stanley boss Leam Richardson says his players will need their ‘tin hats’ to combat Northampton’s aerial approach and maintain their unbeaten run tomorrow ahead of three potentially decisive home fixtures.
Stanley – currently a point clear of the League Two relegation zone – entertain Fleetwood, Barnet and AFC Wimbledon in the space of eight days and Richardson wants to take confidence into those games with a result from a tricky fixture at Sixfields.
That would extend the Reds’ record to four games without defeat but they have never won at Northampton, who sit seventh in the League Two table.
Aidy Boothroyd’s physical Cobblers completed a successful air raid on Stanley when they won 4-2 in East Lancashire in November.
Battering ram forward Adebayo Akinfenwa scored a hat-trick in that match and has been a thorn in Accrington’s side on a number of occasions in recent seasons, but Richardson is determined to keep the momentum going as Stanley recover from their recent bad run.
“Momentum and confidence in football is massive and you’ll get results on the back of it,” he said.
“Everybody is aware that we’re going into a group of fixtures now that could dictate where you want to be.
“Northampton don’t hide from the fact that they play a certain way.
“I thought we played a very good team off the park when we played them at home but we had a crazy 10 minutes when we conceded three goals. It’s something we have to learn from.
“There are a few teams where you need to roll your sleeves up, get your so-called tin hats on and go and prepare yourselves for battle.
“When you come through that you play your football and put your own stamp on the game, but you’d be very ignorant to ignore what they do.
“Free kicks, throw-ins in your half, they use them to their benefit.
“But the onus is on us to win games. First and foremost we’re looking not to get beat but we’re also looking to win.”
Stanley have kept two consecutive clean sheets but were angered by the decision to disallow Will Hatfield’s goal for offside in their 0-0 draw at home to Torquay United on Saturday.
Richardson feels decisions have gone against his side in a number of games and is trying to secure a meeting with referees’ chiefs to discuss his concerns.
“I’ve briefly spoken to the lads down there and I’m looking to get a meeting maybe today or Tuesday,” he said. “I think it’s more for my own benefit than anything else.
“The decisions have come and gone, we can’t change the result, but they have had a massive impact on certain results.
“But I can air my concerns and get things off my chest.”