Stanley manager James Beattie is hoping that his side can turn their home fortunes around beginning with the Lancashire derby against Morecambe on Saturday.
The Reds have won five of their last seven games on their travels but their tally of home victories stands at just three from 14 matches. It is a record that the manager is determined to change.
“We’ve got to turn the away form into our home form,” he said. “The usual scenario for a football team is to have good home form but we’ve turned that on its head.”
It is a stark contrast to the past five seasons, in which Stanley’s record at home has been much better than that on the road, but the manager cannot quite put his finger on why there has been such a marked difference this term.
He said: “There is a lot of talk about teams setting up differently away from home because the onus is on the home team to go and put their opposition under pressure and go at them but we try to approach every game in the same manner.
“There are obviously a couple of teams that we will line up differently against but physically and ability-wise, there isn’t that much between most teams in the league.
“It’s all about how they mentally approach the game, ” he mused. “That’s something I’ll look at quite closely and intently in the next few weeks. If we can improve the mental approach to home matches then I’ve got no doubt at all about what the outcome of those matches would be.”
Given Stanley’s struggles at the Store First Stadium, there can be no better game to kick-start a run of positive results at home than a local derby and Beattie says that his time as a player has helped him to understand the importance of the fixture to the fans.
“Playing for the club last year put me in good stead to know which games that the supporters hold in high regard and this is right up there with the best of them.
“It’s a game we’ll definitely be looking to win to give the fans something to enjoy their weekend with,” he added.
It is a well-known fact among Stanley fans that Morecambe are yet to beat the Reds in a Football League fixture, but the 35 year-old is determined not to let such statistics alter his mindset.
“I’ll let the fans get on with that!” he laughed. “It’s a football game that we’ll approach in the same manner as we always do. I’m sure Jim [Bentley] will have his troops fired up because of the last-minute winner in October; he’ll be telling them that they owe us one.”
Ahead of the game on Saturday, the manager was full of praise for the Stanley fans, saying: “The fans that travel away and come to the Store First Stadium are definitely a hardened bunch; they show tremendous dedication to the football club.
“I think there were 32 there the other night [at Bristol Rovers] on a cold Tuesday evening and we thank them very much for their support. If they could tell a few of their friends to come along as well, that’d be great!
“If we can drum up some extra people through the turnstiles for these local derbies then that’s all well and good and it will be a huge benefit for the football club.”