STANLEY boss John Coleman has praised the desire of his players as they continued their promotion charge with a tense derby win over Morecambe.

The Reds now have a six-point cushion in the automatic promotion spots and face a top-of-the-table shootout at Luton this weekend.

Stanley have won more League Two games than any other side this season but Coleman knows the gongs aren't handed out in March as he urged his side to finish the job.

"You can see the desire in the players, they're getting to the business end now, they want to see it through. It would be a shame to waste all the hard work," the Wham Stadium chief said.

"We've won more games than Luton this season, which is testament to how well the lads have played this season, but you get nothing in the first week of March. It's all about keeping your head down and not trying to look too far ahead.

"We've got a massive game on Saturday and then we've got a couple of homes games that we've got to try and capitalise on. They won't be easy, no game will be easy, we know that, nobody will role over for us and we don't want them to.

"We want to keep on the front foot and we're playing like that, we're playing with confidence and we've got to keep it going.

"It has gone well so far, but there's still a long way to go, there's 11 games, it's nearly a quarter of a season. Historically we finish the seasons well in my time here."

Stanley's last three wins have all been 1-0, with Tuesday's victory over Morecambe secured thanks to a Billy Kee penalty on the stroke of half-time, and Coleman cited George Graham's Arsenal side, who regularly won by that scoreline on their way to titles, as a sign of success.

"It's the age-old phrase of Arsenal, the 1-0s win the league. I'd take 1-0 every week if I could, although I don't know if my heart and my nerves could," he said.

"I've got to give the players credit, they work hard, you can see the fitness levels, we haven't played for a bit, we haven't been able to train properly, they didn't half put a shift in."

Coleman praised Jordan Clark and Kee for their roles and energy in the win as he also explained his decision not to make a substitute for the third time in the last five games.

"We're a fit side, we've got good players," Coleman said. "People might question the fact I don't make subs, but if it's not broke don't fix it.

"Those lads didn't show any signs of tiring, Billy has probably had his best game in a month, he worked ever so hard.

"People criticise that he doesn't close down enough, but he did on Tuesday, he was the archetypal battering ram, he didn't complain, he kept going and I was delighted he got the goal.

"Jordan Clark is super-human, the amount of ground he covers, and he still always looks capable of going past someone and having a shot or making a chance and I just wish he could get more goals for what his play deserves."

Coleman added: "It was a tough game, you have to take your hat off to Morecambe, they kept on fighting to the end.

"I thought we were terrific in the first half hour, we pressed them really well, showed great energy and skill. Some great passing moves and the keeper has made a couple of great saves, we've wasted one or two chances and you think it's not going to be your night.

"We kept on going right to the final minutes of the half we deservedly got the pen in my eyes.

"Second half Morecambe pinned us back, they had four of five corners, balls into the box, they had a couple of headers, there was a great block. After that, the last 25 minutes, we saw it out very professionally, we could have added to our total, we missed a couple of great chances but we kept on trying to pass the ball and that was our best route to safety.

"Once we got it down we could hurt them and we spent more time in their half than they did in ours in the last 20 minutes. When the six minutes went up you're fearing the worst but I think we spent five of those six minutes on the edge of their box and that's the best way to see it out."