SEAMUS Conneely admitted his spell out of the Stanley XI has been tough to take but now he is back in the side the skipper wants to spark a Reds revival.

John Coleman's men are without a win in six League One games having lost 2-1 to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday.

The Reds last third tier success came at Peterborough United in October but Stanley have progressed in the Checkatrade Trophy and FA Cup in that time and host League Two side Cheltenham Town in round two tomorrow.

Conneely is expected to feature and the midfielder, whose start at Rochdale last weekend was his first in the league since September having spent time out of the side through injury before having to bide his time to regain a starting spot, admits it was a strange feeling to be on the bench.

The 30-year-old has been a Reds regular since joining the club, making more than 150 appearances since arriving in January 2015.

But the form of Dan Barlaser and Sam Finley meant he has had a watching brief in recent weeks, prior to winning his place back for the last two games.

"It is strange," said the Irishman of being out of the side. "I have played a couple of Checkatrade games but to get back into the league games is where I feel most at home.

"It was difficult been out looking in having played quite a lot in the last few seasons.

"I thought I might take a while (to get back in the team) because results were good when I was away and the performances were good which I think is what the gaffer was looking at.

"But there is always going to be suspensions and injuries and changes in formation, especially this time of year as we approach Christmas. There is an awful lot of games and you have to wait for a chance and then take it when it comes."

One man who has been keeping Conneely out of the side has been loanee Dan Barlaser with the 21-year-old impressing since arriving from Newcastle United in August.

And the youngster has caught the eye of the skipper during his short Wham Stadium career, believing the midfielder can play at the top level.

Conneely added: "There is real competition for places, especially in midfield.

"Dan has done very well and is totally deserving of his place.

"I like to play with Dan, he is a very good player and I think he will go and play at a higher level.

"He is still young and is still learning the game but you can see he has tremendous ability and I think as he gets older he will move up the leagues."