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We need to 'toughen up, tighten up and be more resilient': Bell

Assistant manager knows Reds need to get out of the rut at Burton Albion

23 January 2020

Assistant manager Jimmy Bell is determined Stanley will ‘tighten up, toughen up and be more resilient’ as they look to end a run of three league defeats at Burton Albion on Saturday.

Bell admitted the turnaround in fortunes - from John Coleman winning Manager of the Month in December to their four losses in five games in January – has shaken the club.

But he insists they are remaining upbeat as they try and get back to winning ways, starting with Saturday’s trip to the promotion-chasing Brewers.

“We have got to pick ourselves up, to be positive and, as staff, be an inspiration in around the players. Three weeks ago, if we beat Rochdale, we would have gone four points off the Play-Offs and it shows how quickly things can turn around.

“We beat Burton Albion in December and we have got to be positive and go into the game with a positive frame of mind.

“We have a seven point cushion from the relegation places but we don’t look on it as a cushion, we need to push on. We have had a kick up the backside the last couple of weeks and we know what we have got to do.

“We need five wins and it would be lovely to win five quickly as we did in December. We have got to tighten up, toughen up and be more resilient.”

Since the 2-0 defeat at the Wham Stadium on December 29th, Nigel Clough’s men have won their next three league games and are two points off the Play-Offs.

“They have had two 1-0 wins in their last two games, had two clean sheets, and they are up to ninth in the league in a tight top half of the table.

“It will be fresh in our minds that we played really well against them and were worthy winners but it will be fresh in their minds that we beat them. We know we will have to be at our best to beat them. They know we are a good team but we have to prove it.

“Four defeats in five games and the alarm bells are ringing and we have got to address it and address it quickly. Burton like to get the ball down and play and so there will be gaps, it should be a good game.”

Fulham loan left back Jerome Opoku could feature after missing the last few games but Colby Bishop is out for at least a month with a hamstring injury.

Wilson Carvalho is struggling with an ankle injury while Sean McConville is out for the rest of the season.

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