John Coleman admits losing both Sean McConville and Jordan Clark to injury has been a hammer blow to Stanley.

McConville will miss the rest of the season with an Achilles problem, while Clark is touch and go for this weekend as he continues to manage a hamstring strain.

Coleman regards the pair as the best wide players in the division, and admits any team would suffer losing two of their star men at the same time.

Stanley have lost back-to-back league matches this calendar year, having enjoyed a fine end to 2019 taking 11 points from a possible 15 in December.

And Coleman hopes for a change in fortunes when Southend arrive at the Wham Stadium on Saturday.

Erico Sousa, Joe Pritchard and Wilson Carvalho are other wide players in the Stanley squad, and Coleman admits it’s no slant on them when discussing the loss of both McConville and Clark.

“I regard Sean McConville and Jordan Clark as the two best wingers in League One and I’d argue with anyone over that,” the Reds boss said.

“We’ve lost them both in a week and that’s very hard to cope with.

“It’s no slant on the players coming in to take their place. But you take Mane and Salah out of Liverpool’s team and they’re a different team.

“The best teams in the world will feel the loss of their better players, and there’s no getting away from the fact that Sean and Jordan are, in my opinion, and others, two of the best wingers in League One.”

Clark has scored five times in 29 appearances this season, and Coleman will hope his return can soften the blow of the loss of McConville.

“I’m hoping he will be fit for Saturday, but I was hoping he would be fit for last Saturday,” he said.

“it’s one of those things, it’s a hamstring, you can’t rush it.

“Jordan will know when he’s right, and when he is, I know we’ll get 100 per cent out of him.”

This month Stanley have agreed the loan extensions for goalkeeper Joe Bursik, defender Aji Alese and midfielder Sadou Diallo to boost their numbers, with Coleman hoping to further add to his squad before the window closes on January, with a loan signing pencilled in to arrive by the end of next week.

A permanent addition is also being worked on, and Coleman added: “It’s a slow process.

“I’m hoping to get at least one loan in before the end of next week.

“You would like to get them in as soon as possible but it’s not always the case.

“I’ve learned over the last couple of years that transfers and loans are becoming more and more protracted and drawn out, particularly towards the end of the window.

“You have to play the game and get on with it.”