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Club News

Warm-up Accrington Stanley

12 March 2013

Both Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley need a win in their Red Rose encounter on Tuesday evening, but for quite different reasons.

By David Mitchell

Both Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley need a win in their Red Rose encounter on Tuesday evening, but for quite different reasons.

With ten games left, Town's record of two points from their last five games has left them seven points behind the play-off positions.  Stanley lie 23rd, facing a possible return to non-league football. Despite his side not able to convert their effort against Exeter City into victory, Alexander says that they approach the north-west derby with confidence: 'Watching the game on DVD reinforced my feeling that we deserved to win on Saturday. We had a definite threat from midfield but just needed that break in front of goal.' The Town manager is well-aware of the dangers posed by teams battling for survival: 'Teams near the bottom fight for their future and Tuesday will be no different.  This division is so competitive and Accrington have enough quality to cause us problems but we will concentrate on our own performance and there was enough on Saturday to encourage us as we look for three points.' Alexander's side will have to cope with an extra threat in the shape of former Everton and England striker Francis Jeffers, who joined Accrington in the last week: 'He's been around for a long time and looking to establish himself back in England.  To that end, he has a point to prove but our preparation will focus on the threats throughout the team. We have shown that we can handle quality strikers this season with clean sheets in games involving the likes of Jamie Cureton and Tom Pope.' Despite making good progress on his return from injury, former Stanley striker Andy Mangan is not yet match fit: 'Andy still has work to do,'says Alexander, 'but is chomping at the bit and his bubbly personality is always great to have around in matches and training.' Jamie McGuire is available for selection again after serving his three-match ban, Steven Gillespie is still unavailable following his hamstring injury while Dean Howell's progress is being monitored following his withdrawal on Saturday in the second half. Jeffers could make his first start for Stanley after a second half substitution at Northampton on Saturday.  Fellow England striker, James Beattie, is expected to return with midfielder Amine Linganzi and defender Michael Liddle both hoping to play. Liddle has been ill. 'We've got a few lads who want to play football,' manager Leam Richardson told BBC Lancashire. 'We've got eight games this month and we've got to be intelligent in what we do. We've got to get the best team that we can out there and try and win the game.' Since defeating Town 3-1 at Highbury in November, Accrington have won twice in 20 league and cup games.   There have been just four league wins at the Crown Ground with a 16 goal total which is the lowest in League 2.  Town have a good away record defensively, conceding less than a goal a game, but Alexander will be hoping that they can improve on a return of one goal in five games.  It is a key week for Town who face both of the npower League 2's basement sides this week, with Plymouth Argyle to come on Saturday.

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