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Leam calls for crowd boost for Stanley
9:20am Saturday 16th March 2013 in Football
ACCRINGTON Stanley boss Leam Richardson hopes the presence of Edgar Davids, Francis Jeffers and James Beattie will entice an improved crowd to the Store First Stadium this afternoon – but says the game must be about securing three crucial points rather than the big names on show.
Former Holland star Davids brings his Barnet side to East Lancashire for a vital match at the bottom of League Two, with the 40-year-old player-manager expected to line up in midfield for the Bees.
He will face Stanley’s ex-England internationals Jeffers and Beattie, in what is something of an all-star match.
Davids, inset, was sent off for a foul on Beattie, his second bookable offence, when the two sides drew 1-1 at Underhill in November.
Richardson would be more than happy if the appearance of Davids, Jeffers and Beattie results in a larger attendance for the game, calling on Blackburn Rovers and Burnley fans to lend their support with neither club in action today.
But Stanley go into the match sitting bottom of the table – three points and four places behind Barnet, who are renowned for flirting with relegation each season but finding a way to survive.
“A lot was said about it when we played down at their place with Edgar Davids and James Beattie playing against each other,” Richardson said.
“But that’s for other people to speak about. The most important thing for me is the three points.
“It’s great in a sense for the neutral that there are names there, that the lads have still got a desire to play at such a level.
“But it’s quickly forgotten about because of how important the points are and the game is. Barnet will feel exactly the same as us, it’s must win.”
Average gates at the Store First Stadium have dropped 10 per cent to 1,593 this season, causing a knock-on effect on finances.
Richardson, whose side host fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday, hopes the stars on show today and the importance of the club’s next few home games will see attendances increase.
He added: “This game is big for the club and if it’s your local community club I think it’s important you come down and support us and push us over the line.”
Stanley were beaten 3-0 at home by Fleetwood in midweek and Richardson wants a response.
“We can’t dwell on it,” he said. “People have said previously this week is big and it is big because we’ve got nine points to play for in three home games in a week.
“But if we come across four or five wins before the end of the season it’s irrelevant – April 27 is when we play Oxford in our last game, and at the end of that game we’ll find out where we are.”