Stanley made no secret of their Trophy ambitions this season, and defeat in the quarter-finals at Salford left assistant boss Jimmy Bell disappointed.

The Reds made it through to the last eight of the Trophy, a stage further than last season, and just two ties from Wembley.

However, a much-changed Salford side came out on top midweek, inflicting a fourth successive defeat on Stanley whose attentions will now turn to ensuring they aren’t dragged in to a League One relegation fight.

On the midweek defeat, Bell said: “Everyone knew our intention was to win the Trophy, it won’t happen now. I feel sorry for the club, the fans that travelled, the support we’ve had.

“We gave it our all but we fell short.

“It was a bit of a reality check of where we are, where they are.

“They’re not doing great in League Two but they are still a very good outfit.”

The task for the Reds coaching staff is to pick the players up ahead of the weekend trip to Burton Albion.

Stanley were seven games unbeaten to end 2019, but the new year is yet to a yield a positive result and included defeat to second-bottom Southend last weekend.

But Bell says the mindset of the coaching staff, and players, must remain positive heading in to the Brewers game, of which Stanley should have good memories, having beaten Nigel Clough’s side last month at the Wham Stadium.

“You have to pick yourself up, be positive, inspirational in and around the players. That’s our job,” Bell added.

“It’s four defeat on the bounce, something we’re not proud of.

“Three weeks ago we were thinking about beating Rochdale and going four points off the play-offs.

“That’s how quickly it can turn around.

“We have to be positive, get yourself positive, think about what you’ve got to do and the positives from playing Burton and beating them a couple of weeks ago and hopefully pass that on to the players.

“Hopefully we can then go in to the game in a positive frame of mind.”

On drawing a line under the Salford game, Bell said: “We do analyse defeats, we analyse victories, and if you dwell on those defeats too much it does became negative.

“It’s a fine balance you have to get.

We’ll walk through a few things from the Salford and after that it will be looking forward with positivity in to Saturday.”