Accrington Stanley assistant manager Jimmy Bell knows Accrington Stanley need to get their home form back on track, starting with the Boxing Day clash with in-form Barnsley.
The Reds haven’t won in the league since October 1st – against Morecambe – and that’s four league games at the Wham Stadium without victory.
The Tykes come to Stanley in good form, having won five successive League One games, but the Reds have also won four out of their last five games in all competitions.
“Our home form has been rock solid in the past,” said Bell.
“It’s not good enough but, if you look at the teams and the way we have played, it’s been positive.
“Home form is massive and our away form is better which is different to what we usually have at Accrington.
“We have got to start picking up points at home again and it’s starts against Barnsley who are going really well and it’s going to be a massive game before we go into two away games.”
Former Cheltenham manager Michael Duff became the Tykes boss in June 2022 and lost five of their first nine games in charge in all competitions but they have won six of their last seven games and are fourth in League One.
“I know Michael quite well,” continued Stanley’s assistant boss. “I did my coaching badges with him a long time ago, he did a great job at Cheltenham and he has now got a tune out of Barnsley.
“It’s a big game, one we relish, one I know we can win. We think we know where we can hurt them, so it will be interesting.
“Boxing Day is always an iconic fixture and it is one we look forward to.”
Despite Stanley being in 19th place in the league, Bell says it’s a good time to be an Accrington fan.
“It’s a great time for Accrington. We are battling on three fronts. One is to move away from bottom of the league which is the most important; two to get to the fourth round of the FA Cup which is great for the club and financially could be really beneficial and the third one is what me and John (Coleman) and everyone at Accrington and the supporters want, which is to get to Wembley and we are two games away from that.
“It’s great time for everyone connected with the club.
“The league is our priority but, the form we have been in, the way we have been playing of late, I think we can pull away and go upwards.
“That comes with getting results, home form is crucial, the Morecambe game on 29th December is crucial and I am also looking at the form of MK Dons and Morecambe who are battling away below us.”
Bell is hoping some of the long-term injured players will be back soon.
“Michael Nottingham has been a big miss and hopefully he will be back in four weeks maximum. Sean McConville is about 10-14 days away so we hope to have them both back early in new year.
“Josh Woods is training and back in contention.”
The full pre-match interview with Jimmy Bell is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!