ACCRINGTON Stanley assistant boss Jimmy Bell believes the progression shown by the club off the pitch is inspiring the players to produce their best on it.

The Reds are unbeaten since the opening day of the season and sit just three points off the League One play-offs ahead of Saturday’s trip to Walsall.

It has been some start to the season for Stanley who also have plans afoot for a new training ground and are close to completing a new stand at the Wham Stadium.

And Bell, who along with boss John Coleman signed a four-year contract with the club this week. believes that off-field progress is making a big impact.

“I think the players pick up on that and see that it is a progressive club going in the right direction,” said Bell. “I notice it with our players. They know the club is going in the right direction.

“Come January in the last couple of seasons we have strengthened. When we have got ourselves into good positions in the league it is great to be able to bring one or two into strengthen it and the players step up to the mark then. They know they can’t stand still, they have to push on or they might lose their place and that is only good for progression.”

Bell and Coleman’s new contract would take the pair through to 2022, and complete eight years in charge of the club to go with the 13 they spent at the Wham Stadium in their first stint.

And Bell, 53, said it was an easy decision to put pen to paper.

“We have been talking about it for quite some time now and I am glad that everything has been sorted out. We are both very happy to be signing the contract,” he said.

“We have been offered a very good contract by Andy, the club and the team are doing very well and we are more than happy to be here and to try and take the club forward.

“You have got to be comfortable in your surroundings and when you are comfortable you usually work better.

“You are not under too much pressure, we put ourselves under pressure, but there is nothing worse than getting pressure from the board or the fans.

“We have a history and an affinity with the club, we have a great relationship with the owner and the fans.

“It is great to come into work every day knowing that you have the backing of everyone and that everyone wants you to do well rather than waiting for a bad result and someone to be on your case which happens elsewhere.”

So, after nearly 20 years as part of a coaching team does the fire still burn brightly for Bell?

“I love it,” he said. “I come to life on a Thursday and a Friday and just can’t wait for the Saturday kick-off.

“Me and John are winners, we hate getting beat.

“We have just played the players in head tennis and lost. Eventually we lost, we tried everything!

“But we just hate getting beat. That is the one thing that really drives us on. The players know that and if they keep performing and doing their jobs then everything is hunk dory.”