ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman believes starting a run of form is harder than maintaining as his side are now unbeaten in three matches.

The Reds' win against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night in the Trophy was the second over Keith Hill's side in as many weeks with a 1-1 draw coming at Tranmere Rovers either side of the Bolton games.

Stanley will welcome Portsmouth to the Wham Stadium on Saturday with Kenny Jacket's side in fine form themselves.

"We spoke to the lads and getting on any kind of run is difficult. Once you’re well into it, it’s probably easier to stay on it than it is to get on it," said Coleman. "That’s three games now – two wins and a draw, we’re going in the right direction.

"I wasn’t particularly happy with the performance and I don’t think the players were either, but I think the conditions have to play a big part in that.

"You were never quite sure which way the wind was blowing and then we had hail, lots of rain, more hail and lots of wind. We didn’t pass it as well as we could. We looked a little bit sloppy. "When you’re in them situations, it’s vital that you can grind out a win. We spoke before the game about winning at all costs, there’s plenty of different ways to win and whatever it took, we had to do it.

"You have to give our players credit that they did.

"We dug in and apart from Joe’s really good double save, he didn’t have much to do and we defended well. It was more than what I’d have liked to, and we didn’t attack as much as what I’d have liked, but the job is done and we’re into the next round."

The Reds boss was asked whether he could pick between a win in the EFL Trophy or a win in a league match in League One, and while Coleman couldn't choose between the two, he did highlight how survival is the clubs ultimate aim.

"I wouldn’t prioritise either of them, they’re both very high on our list," Coleman added. "Choosing a win in two competitions is like asking you to choose between your kids. At the time, the prospect of what we can do in the cup is good, but we’ve got a tough game ahead in that.

"Our ultimate objective is to stay in this league."

Coleman has chopped and changed his starting XI recently as he has a large squad at his disposal. He admits choosing his starting team is getting more difficult as they games come thick and fast.

"I wouldn’t say that I’m leaving it late, but it has been difficult picking the teams. It’s difficult to pick the subs," the Stanley manager added.

"We have to do what we think is right. You’re not always going to get it right; we do have the benefit of seeing the players every day in training which the outside people don’t.

"We have far more information and judgement than anyone outside the club. That’s what we have to base our decisions on and sometimes they come off and sometimes they don’t."