JAMES Beattie admits Accrington Stanley’s fortunes at home and away could be in all in the mind.
Stanley’s last-gasp 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday means they have now taken nine points from the last possible 12 on their travels.
Their form on their own turf, however, is not so impressive.
The Reds have drawn three and lost one of their previous four matches at the Store First Stadium.
Beattie knows there would be no better time to end their winless run in front of the Stanley faithful than in tomorrow’s big Lancashire derby with Morecambe.
But to do that the former England international striker may have to get inside his players’ heads.
Reds boss Beattie said: “I keep saying to the players, physically and ability wise there’s not much between the teams in this league.
“It’s all about how they mentally prepare for the games and that’s something I will look at and if we can improve the mental approach to matches at home then I’ve no doubt what the outcome would be.
“It’s something I’ll be looking quite closely and intently at.
“Without getting too deep I think the conscious mind is about seven per cent of your brain while your subconscious mind accounts for a hell of a lot more than that.
“It’s just little things that need to be tweaked or little things that you can put into a player’s mind before they go out or during the week leading up to the game.
“It’s a huge part of the game now, no matter what level you’re playing at, and I think the lads are responding well to what we’re trying to do in that respect.”
The victory over Bristol Rovers – secured by Peter Murphy’s injury-time strike – was Stanley’s second in succession away from home and hauled them up to 17th in the tight League Two standings.
Last-gasp hero Murphy was also the Reds’ 90th-minute match-winner in October’s reverse clash at Morecambe’s Globe Arena.
“I think playing for the club last season stood me in good stead as to which games the fans hold in high regard – and the Morecambe one is right up there with the best of them,” said Beattie, whose improving side could move into the top half of the table if they do the double over the Shrimps and results also go their way.
“Our winner at Morecambe earlier in the season sparked chaotic scenes among the away travelling fans.
“We definitely want to get them the win so they can enjoy their weekend.”
The Reds have never lost a League Two match to Morecambe – a run of 13 games – and their hopes of maintaining that hoodoo received a boost yesterday when goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, 21, extended his loan from Premier League outfit Fulham until the end of the season.
Delighted Beattie said: “We’re contributing to Marcus’ development and he’s contributing a hell of a lot to us by being a fantastic keeper and our last line of defence.”
Beattie has not ruled out adding to his ranks before the transfer window closes at 11pm tonight.
But the ex-Everton striker – who revealed he is having to ‘stave off’ interest in members of his squad from higher up the Football League – is likely to wait until the window for loan signings reopens next month.
Bettinelli said: “There’s no other real way to earn experience than by playing week in and week out.
“When you play reserves games and games here and there it’s not as tough as playing regularly in the Football League.
“It’s a tough league to play in with a lot of good teams – including us, we’re one of them.
“I’m really enjoying it and really thriving on it so I was delighted to sign until the end of the season.”