John Coleman has branded tonight’s visit of Rochdale as ‘the biggest game of my life’.

Stanley know victory at the Wham Stadium could give their survival hopes a big boost, by moving them five clear of the bottom three and up to 14th.

Rochdale are also fighting for their lives, second bottom in the league, and three points shy of Stanley’s total.

Coleman’s men drew 1-1 at fourth-bottom AFC Wimbledon on Saturday with third-bottom Walsall next up.

And not taking down the importance of tonight’s game, Coleman said: “I’ve made a statement to the players that this is the biggest game of my life.

“Obviously there is the Rochdale connection, but that has nothing to do with it, this could be against Matlock.

“This is the biggest game of my life because we worked so hard to get in to League One and this is a chance to take a giant stride to stay in League One.”

Coleman led Stanley to the League Two title last season and they have given themselves a good platform to secure a second successive season of third tier football.

On how the two compare, Coleman added: “The prize would be the same, but you’re competing with bigger, better teams on meagre results.

“Getting up is hard, but staying up is even harder.

“Four big teams will go down this year, we have to hope it’s not us.”

This time last year Stanley were battling for promotion, securing that with a 2-0 win over Yeovil on April 17, 2018.

The boss is looking for a similar performance this time around as Stanley bid for just a second win since February 19.

“They still equate to the same thing,” said Coleman of staying up against winning promotion. “We had to beat Yeovil to get promoted, a lot at stake. We would have had other chances if they didn’t materialise, and this is a similar process. That performance against Yeovil was one of the best that one of my teams has ever put in. We were absolutely magnificent. Hopefully history repeats itself.”

Many of the promotion squad are still around now, with Coleman hoping those experiences can be beneficial.

He added: “Not all of them played, but a lot did, and we have spoken about that.

“They have to go out with that mindsight of going out to win and the quicker you go out and do that the better it is for everyone.”

Though Coleman admits that both nerves and luck could play a ‘massive’ part in the quest for survival.

“You can try and overcome the nerves, and the best way of doing that is by playing well and scoring goals. The only way you can try and get the luck in your favour is to play the game in the opposition half.”