STANLEY’S trip to league leaders Port Vale was always going to be a tough game so when Charlie Barnett was sent off in the first five minutes it became a massive task.

While we will never know what might had been if we had kept 11 men on the pitch if the first half performance of the 10 man Reds is anything to go by we would have run Vale very close indeed.

We now sit just two points above the relegation places and in the middle of the relegation battle.

I am still optimistic that we can do enough to stay up and the four deals done on transfer deadline day have bolstered this view.

Goalkeeper Paul Rachubka is now on loan with us until the end of the season and I see his deal as the start of rebuilding our confidence at the back.

This Saturday we entertain Southend United who are having a decent season and currently sit in a play-off position.

If we can score first and have a dash of luck that has eluded us I’m confident of three points and the start of the fight back.