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United front will end drop fears, says Accrington Stanley boss Beattie
JAMES Beattie has called for a united front to end Accrington Stanley’s win drought today.
The Reds were four minutes away from a first League Two victory of the season, after battling through the whole of the second half at AFC Wimbledon with 10 men, following goalscorer Kayode Odejayi’s dismissal in first-half stoppage time.
Stanley hung on to their lead until the 86th minute, when Alan Bennett equalised.
But rather than lick their wounds and dwell on the disappointment, boss Beattie says they are ready to take the confidence of scoring first for only the second time this season into this afternoon’s home game with Oxford United.
And he feels the squad has been galvanised by coming so close to three long-awaited points.
“The lads were disappointed but they actually experienced what I was telling them all along, that the first goal would lift us, and it did,” said the Stanley manager.
“You could tell the difference after we scored it, and they believed then that they were going to win the game.
“That was the three points right there if Kay didn’t get sent off. I could envisage that game being 2-0 or 3-0 because we were in that state of mind and we’d lifted that burden off our shoulders and we were playing free-flowing football and we were defending really well.
“It just felt so right and I knew it was going to be the three points we’d been longing for, for so long.
“But we are always made stronger by adversity.”
And Beattie believes the squad has been galvanised by showing strong signs of turning a corner with a determined performance at AFC Wimbledon – even with a man down.
“Everyone who was on the bench (at Wimbledon) were up and encouraging and egging their mates on, and that’s exactly what we need.
“We need everybody with hands to the pump and everybody pulling in the same direction and the solidarity that the lads showed – not just the 10 that were on the pitch but those who were on the bench and the lads in the squad, that was the most pleasing thing and that’s what we’ll take into this game (today).”
And Beattie feels the fans can share in that spirit of togetherness.
“We need everybody to believe in what we are doing, to buy into what we’re doing,” he said.
“I know the players do, I do and all the people at the club do, we just need the fans to keep doing the same and get behind the lads.”
Centre back Rob Atkinson is likely to be sidelined for at least the next two games with a hamstring injury.
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