Stanley skipper Luke Joyce wants a derby day win against Morecambe tonight to ensure there’s no repeat of the nervy end to last season.
This time last year the Reds were bottom of League Two and had to battle back to secure safety on the penultimate weekend.
“Once you’ve been in the situation we were in last season you never want to be there again,” said the 26-year-old. “We can use the experience of last year and remember how good it felt to beat Bristol Rovers that day and secure our safety. We want to have that feeling again and finish as high as possible.
“I’ve never known League Two like this. We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we get the points on the board and we’ll soon find ourselves in a healthier position. I think from now until the end of the season it’s going to change week in and week out.
“There are teams who might think that they are out of it but they’ll get dragged back into it. All we can do is focus on ourselves and make sure we do our jobs. We can’t rely on anyone else.”
This is Joyce’s fifth season with the Reds and he’s well aware of the rivalry with tonight’s visitors – and what Stanley’s superb record means to supporters.
“I suppose it’s a bit more in my mind than some of the lads because a lot of them have only been here for a season or two,” he explained. “I’ve played against Morecambe a lot of times in my time here and it’s a record that we’re proud of and hopefully that gives us the psychological edge over them.
“We’re desperate to keep that record going and it would be really nice to get the double over them this season too.
“A lot of the lads know each other, whether we’ve played with each other at previous clubs or from playing against each other a lot of times. I’ve been on a course with Jim Bentley so I know him but as soon as that whistle goes and you’re out there and fighting for three points friendships go out of the window and it’s all about doing your best to get the points for your team.
“It’s got all the ingredients; a Tuesday night game, at home, against Morecambe in a big derby game and if we can get the crowd in the stands and we can produce the goods on the pitch then it should be a good night.”