ACCRINGTON Stanley have often struggled for positive results over the Christmas period and it is something that has Seamus Conneely scratching his head.

The Reds only managed one win during November and December last season in League One and it is something the coaching staff are hoping will change.

Manager John Coleman now has more players to choose from in his squad and Conneely is hopeful this will play a part in a more fruitful spell over Christmas.

"It’s a head scratcher for me. Since I’ve been here, this is my fifth season full season, we’ve often struggled November, December time and then kicked on come the New Year," said the skipper.

"I know the gaffer, Jimmy Bell and John Doolan are wondering why that is as well and they’re trying to find the answers for that. "Like you say, our December’s haven’t been the best and hopefully, this year with a bigger squad, the gaffer has more chance to play different players.

"Some lads might need a rest at certain times, hopefully that’ll be to our benefit and we can go on to have a better December than we have the last two years."

Stanley currently sit five points above the League One relegation zone - currently occupied by Bolton Wanderers, Southend United and MK Dons.

The Reds could jump to 15th with a win at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park on Saturday.

"We want to pull away from that relegation zone as quickly as possible, this is a big game against Tranmere – another team who are down near the bottom end of the table," added Conneely.

"In most divisions in football, particularly in League One, you put a run together and shoot straight up the table.

"If you go three, four weeks without winning a game like we did then you get sucked right into it.

"As you approach Christmas and the games come thick and fast, you can go one of two ways and hopefully, we’ll go in a positive direction."

With Tranmere currently sitting in 20th place in the table on 16 points, a win for them over Stanley will see them leapfrog Coleman's side.

Conneely insists his side will not be taking them lightly: "We certainly wouldn’t go into a game taking any team lightly.

"I think the more of a run you go on, the more expectant you become. Hopefully, now with that Bolton game, we’ve got a bit more expectancy about us.

"We’d never take a team lightly and just think we need to show and think we’ll beat these because they’re below us because we think we’re better than them.

"You’ve got to put the work in during the week in training and then when it comes to it, you’ve got to have 11 players right on form.

"It’s a big game and they’ll know it’s a big game as well. They can jump above us if they were to beat us, so that’s an incentive for them.

"For us, it gives us the chance to widen that gap between us and them. There’s a lot to play for."

The Reds centre midfielder found himself in and out of the side last season, but has become a fixture in the starting XI this campaign: "Thankfully this year, my performances have been decent enough and I’ve kept my place in the team."