Accrington Stanley desperate not to be left in the cold

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

ACCRINGTON Stanley boss Leam Richardson hopes the weather will not scupper his side’s hopes of an important victory tomorrow, as they bid to avoid echoes of Macclesfield’s slide into trouble last season.

Stanley are due to host AFC Wimbledon and the club will be keen for the fixture to go ahead after making big plans for the game as part of the launch of their new stadium and shirt sponsorship deal.

The Crown Ground was renamed the Store First Stadium this week and Stanley have gained permission to wear their new blue and yellow third kit – the colours of their sponsor – for the game. Ticket prices have also been reduced to £5 for adults and £1 for under 12s in a bid to boost the attendance.

The Reds have covered the majority of the playing surface this week in an attempt to get tomorrow’s game on but the forecast of frost and snow continues to threaten the fixture.

The chances of the game going ahead could potentially be assessed today.

A postponement would also take away a good opportunity for Stanley to end their bad run of form at home to a Wimbledon side below them in the league.

Richardson’s team have won only one of their last 12 games to drop to within four points of the bottom two and will not want to follow Macclesfield, who were 14th at the end of 2011 but were relegated from the Football League after a terrible second half of last season.

“We’re coming into a group of fixtures where we could do with a win for confidence and morale and to push forward, which is potentially what Saturday could be,” said Richardson. “But we’ve got no hold over that. With the forecast the way it is, the game does look in doubt but we’ll prepare for the game to be on until we get told otherwise.”

Richardson did acknowledge that his side are currently in a fight against the drop and wants his side to quickly reach 50 points, the oft quoted target for safety in League Two. They currently have 30 with 18 games to play.

“There will be a good number of teams addressing safety first at the moment, and that’s exactly what we are doing,” he said.

“I’m not hiding from the fact that we’re in the fight but I’d rather have the fight now than in April.

“So let’s have the fight now and have it finished by mid-February, then we can all look forward and push up the table again.”

Richardson hopes he may be able to persuade the club to give him a little extra money to play with in the transfer market following their six-figure sponsorship windfall.

He is still attempting to add his squad and awaits a resolution over his attempt to sign Paul Rachubka from Leeds.

The keeper is yet to finalise his release from Elland Road so Richardson may have to extend Cameron Belford’s short-term loan from Bury.

Stanley's home match with AFC Wimbledon has now been postponed because of a frozen pitch.

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