Assistant manager Paul Stephenson feels that every player in the Stanley squad needs to be ready to play their part in the final few months of the season as the Reds look to climb League Two.
Stanley have named an unchanged side for the last three matches but ahead of this weekend’s trip to Wycombe Stephenson doesn’t think it’s realistic to keep doing that until May.
“I say this is jest but I hope that the team never changes from now until the end of the season because that means we’re winning every week!” he said. “It will change at some stage because of injuries and suspensions and what have you and it’s important that the lads who aren’t in the team have the right mentality and are ready to step in.
“We had a fitness day on Tuesday when we did quite a lot of running and we made it clear that it wasn’t a punishment, it was a booster to try and get their fitness levels up. The ones who haven’t been playing did a little bit extra and hopefully that’ll send them into the last part of the season in a strong position.”
James Beattie’s men have won their last two away games, 2-1 at Cheltenham and 1-0 at Bristol Rovers and Stephenson is pleased with the performances the team has put in during the last few weeks.
“When James and I looked back at January we looked back at Fleetwood which was probably our poorest performance in a long time and I think we were lacking energy after the Southend game but the response after that has been fantastic,” he explained.
“We could easily have had more points, although I suppose we could have had less because we got the late winner at Bristol Rovers, but I think you get what you deserve and since that Fleetwood game we’ve had a great response and we need another great response for February.”
Wycombe are only above the League Two relegation zone on goal difference and currently suffering a spell of poor form but with Stanley only three points better off Stephenson believes that the Chairboys should not be underestimated.
“Wycombe are a dogged side who have got threats in their team and we know that like the rest of the teams in this division they are capable of getting results against anyone,” he concluded. “For that reason you need to know about your opposition’s strengths and weaknesses but you need to focus on yourselves and that’s what we’ve been doing; focusing on our strengths and how we can affect them.”