Jimmy Bell admits it was an unexpectedly busy deadline day for Stanley who boosted their ranks with three loan signings on Monday.

Defenders Aji Alese and Jerome Opoku signed on loan from West Ham and Fulham respectively, while Connor Simson joined from Preston.

That took the number of summer additions to 17 and gives Stanley competition in all areas of the pitch with no further signings, free agents apart, allowed until January.

Asked if it was a busier than expected deadline day, assistant boss Bell said: “Very much so.

“Players became available. We had a limited budget and everyone had to fit in with that.

“We’ve packed the squad out quite a lot.

“I am believer that it (the window) should stay open even longer but having those extra weeks to assess, and see who becomes available, is a benefit.

“Sometimes players don’t become available until the end of pre-season, or start of the season, so it’s good to be able to look at the squad that way.

“We’ve got a healthy squad now.

“We’ve got competition, we’ve had two very good results this week, so the mood in the camp is a lot different to what it was in the first two or three weeks.

“So we have to build on that with a great game coming up in Bristol.”

Stanley are eyeing a third win in a week after getting off the mark in the league against MK Dons last weekend and following that up in the Leasing.com Trophy against Fleetwood Town on Tuesday.

The Reds have won on each of their last four visits to the Memorial Ground and are unbeaten in their last eight meetings against Graham Coughlan’s side.

“We’ve got a fantastic record against them,” Bell added.

“That counts for nothing though.

“We will tell the players that, and we’ll go there with a system and style to try and beat how they play.

“They are very similar to MK Dons, who we played in our last league game, in how they set up. 

“They are a strong team, great crowd, fantastic stadium and a magnificent pitch there, so I’m anticipating a really great game and one that we’re looking forward to.”

Stanley’s run of seven straight wins against Rovers ended with a 0-0 draw at the Wham Stadium in January.

Asked about the sequence, Bell said: “I remember a long time ago, when we were allowed to bet on football, the trends used to come up.

“It would say ‘Accrington haven’t lost to Bristol Rovers in their last eight’ and I used to look at them very closely.

“Those things, and those trends, seem to follow you in football, playing against a certain team or certain style.

“It’s strange how they carry on.”