UPBEAT boss Leam Richardson believes Accrington Stanley can get out of their slump and turn performances into results as they bid to beat the drop into the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Richardson had seen his men take just 14 points from 21 games since the start of October prior to Saturday’s draw and that run has seen them slide down the League Two table.

The Reds should have beaten 10-man Southend United on Saturday after taking the lead through James Gray’s goal.

But they were pegged back by a spectacular late leveller in the 1-1 draw that did little for either side’s hopes at both ends of the table.

The draw saw Stanley slip to 21st – and they have played a game more than two of the three teams below them. But Richardson is sure there will be no real cause for alarm.

“I am so proud of the players and, if we continue to put in performances like that, we will win a lot of games and be okay,” he said.

“You could see that, with the couple of additions we made in January, we are stronger and things are beginning to come together.

“We are a good team and we showed Southend that.”

Gray’s goal pleased Richardson, especially after the striker missed a chance to put the Reds in front before the break.

“I was delighted with the goal and he showed he wasn’t frightened by the one he missed,” said the manager.

But Richardson was frustrated by the equalising strike from Kevan Hurst.

“They didn’t really cause us problems but then you have to hold your hands up with goals like that,” added Richardson.

“You would rather they scored like that than through a mistake by us. But it shows how good a performance it was by us that Southend will be rubbing their hands that they got a point.”

Honest visiting boss Paul Sturrock admitted his men got out of jail with their late leveller and said: “Too many of my men just didn’t perform.

“Yes, there are reasons for it and we have people playing out of position – but there is no excuse.

“We were lethargic and the way we played for most of the game we simply didn’t deserve anything from it.

“You can’t expect to win games of football with the tempo we showed, it wasn’t good enough.”

The Scot also broke with managerial convention over the red card issued to his defender Ryan Cresswell after a coming together with Gray.

“My boy took a bit of an elbow in the face and reacted by grabbing hold of the Accrington boy,” said Sturrock. “You can’t do that.

“Players know if they raise their hands they will be sent off and I have no issues at all with the sending off.

“Daft as it sounds though we came together after the red card and played better. We played like we should have done from the start and got the equaliser. I was glad about that.”