JAMES Beattie admits he has a responsibility to score the goals that help Accrington Stanley out of relegation trouble, as he bids to build on his weekend brace when the Reds travel to Rochdale tonight.
Beattie scored twice in Saturday’s home game against Cheltenham to end a nine-match goal drought, although Stanley remain in the drop zone as a much improved performance only resulted in a 2-2 draw.
But the ex-England international, who turns 35 tomorrow and also has a coaching role at the club, insists the Reds showed in that game that they are good enough to stay up as they prepare to face Rochdale at Spotland tonight.
And Beattie is determined to do everything he can to help manager Leam Richardson, a friend since their days together in the Blackburn Rovers youth system, keep the club in the Football League.
“Definitely,” he said. “A bit of responsibility lies on my shoulders, I’m man enough to accept that.
“I’m in the team to score goals and obviously develop the squad through the week and try to help us get the results we need to stay in the league.
“There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that we’ve got enough quality in the dressing room and the spirit to stay in this league, and even climb it and finish mid-table.
“The table doesn’t lie but I believe we’re in a false position. There are teams we have played recently who are in a much superior position in the league, but we’ve dominated games and should have won.”
In recent times Richardson has stressed the need for everyone at the club to think positively and Beattie has backed that approach, which he has adopted throughout his playing career.
“The brain is the most powerful tool on the planet and we don’t utilise it enough,” he said.
“I think in your lifetime you use seven per cent of your brain power, well most of us do anyway!
“If you can utilise it in the right manner then that can only be beneficial for everybody. I’m a big believer in it, I was 20 once believe it or not, and that was the first time I was introduced to it – to use the mind to give you that extra edge and I’ve utilised it all the way through my career now.
“If somebody bombards you at the start with it there are always sceptics and non-believers, but I’m a firm believer in it.
“We’ve worked a lot on the attitude of the players and positivity around the club. The mood felt different in the changing room on Saturday.
“I think everyone believed we were going to win and that we were going to climb out of this little mess we’re in. That’s still the case.
“The lads were frustrated that we didn’t get the three points but the performance was much better and we take confidence from that.”
Former Reds boss John Coleman is no longer in charge of Rochdale, having been replaced by Keith Hill last month. But ex-Stanley players Kevin McIntyre, Phil Edwards and Terry Gornell could feature against their old club tonight.