Jeffers and Beattie are backed to help rescue Accrington Stanley
LEAM Richardson believes Francis Jeffers and James Beattie will be a lethal partnership in League Two – with the pair potentially linking up for the first time when Accrington Stanley start a run of three ‘crucial’ home fixtures tonight.
Stanley dropped back into the relegation zone after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Northampton but now host Fleetwood, managed by ex-Burnley star Graham Alexander, in the first of three home games in eight days.
With fellow relegation candidates Barnet and AFC Wimbledon also visiting the Store First Stadium, the next few days could yet prove pivotal in the Reds’ hopes of Football League survival.
But the prospect of a new strike partnership between ex-England internationals Jeffers and Beattie provides fans with hope that Stanley can stay in League Two.
Jeffers, 32, made his Reds debut as a 68th-minute substitute on Saturday, 24 hours after penning a deal until the end of the season, but 35-year-old Beattie was rested.
The pair have both played for Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Rangers, England and even England under 21s but did not play together for any of those teams.
They made their senior England debuts in the same game against Australia, when Jeffers replaced Beattie at half time.
Asked if they could be one of the best pairings in League Two, Richardson said: “Without a shadow of a doubt. Their names, careers and everything else tells you that.
“The appetite they’ve got, if you can get them fit and firing out on the pitch, they’ve done it at every level up to international level and moved for multi-million pounds.
“So to get those two firing out there together will be great to watch and great for the club.
“When you’ve got those two in the squad, people will be wanting to see how it works together.
“I’m sure they will complement each other quite well.
“It was always on the agenda to put Franny on for 20 minutes and no more on Saturday. He’s still building up match fitness but he’s ready to start. I’m sure he’ll get us goals and potentially he will get us the goals that will see us right.”
Stanley have the worst home record in the division and Richardson knows the importance of getting wins this week.
“These games are crucial because they’re home games, they come in quick succession, and we play a couple of teams around us,” he said. “This season we’ve had a few good results away and if we could have managed that with our home form, we could have been at the other end of the table. It’s something we need to address.”