JOHN Coleman has set his sights on winning more manager of the month awards because it means his team is heading in the right direction.

The Reds boss won the Sky Bet League One award for guiding his side to a five-game unbeaten run throughout December – including a stunning 4-1 victory over improving Portsmouth.

Coleman said the award was for everyone connected with the first team but says it is no good winning them on one-off occasions if you are going to have a successful campaign.

“To do any damage in this league, you have to win this trophy maybe two or three times,” he said. “Winning it once in isolation is not good enough if you want to do something in this league.

“You have to have two or three really good months and if I win it twice more in the first part of 2020 it means we are doing well!”

He added: “It is a feather in the gap for the team, they are the ones that win it. It is down to their results, we take a small part in that, the coaching staff are the ones who try to work with them on a daily basis.

“It’s a team effort, that’s the thing.”

Stanley saw that unbeaten run come to an end following a home defeat to Rochdale on New Year’s Day but the manager was pleased to see his side bounce back with a victory over Fleetwood to reach the quarter finals of the Trophy.

Coleman says Stanley have a tough run of fixtures coming up, starting at Ipswich Town tomorrow, but he says his side can compete against anyone.

“We had a fantastic December, obviously a disappointing result against Rochdale then bounced back and getting through to the quarter final of the Trophy gets us back on track we hope,” he said.

“We have a tough month ahead, we have got a tough rest of the season ahead. But I think we have proven already that we can compete with any team in this league.

“You see us against the top teams. We shouldn’t have drawn with Wycombe, it felt like a loss because we had a penalty awarded against us late on that wasn’t a penalty. We’ve beaten Ipswich, we’ve beaten Portsmouth, drawn with Coventry and lost narrowly to Rotherham so we have competed really well against the top sides.

“We just need to get our heads down and do as well as we can for as long as we can in the second part of the season.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Sadou Diallo is the latest Stanley loan player to extend his stay at the Wham Stadium.

The 20-year-old, who joined the club during the summer transfer window, has made four appearances for the Reds so far this season.

He joins Jerome Opoku and Aji Alese in penning extended deals.