JOE Maguire says Accrington Stanley must maintain a 'one game at a time' mentality in the end-of-season run-in.

The Reds have a healthy enough cushion above the bottom three going into the remaining nine games. But with just one point from their last four games they are mindful of getting sucked in to a relegation battle.

John Coleman's side have a tricky run of fixtures with four of their next five opponents in and around the promotion and play-off pack - including the visit of leaders Coventry City later this month.

But Maguire says they are not looking beyond Saturday's trip to sixth-placed Portsmouth as they bid to bounce back from a home defeat to struggling Tranmere Rovers.

"We've got some tough games coming up, but we've got to ensure that all our focus is on this Saturday's game against Portsmouth," said the defender.

"At this stage of the season, everyone has got their own situation and we're obviously looking to be safe as soon as possible.

"They'll be looking further up the table, and every game until now and the end of the season will be tough."

Saturday's 2-1 loss against Micky Mellon's side left Stanley 11 points clear of the relegation zone before last night's games, in which two of the bottom three - Tranmere and Bolton - were in action.

The Reds have played both teams in their last two games, with just a point to show for it following a goalless draw away to Bolton.

"We've got to look in the mirror this week, because we've played Bolton and Tranmere and only picked up one point," Maguire told the club's official website.

"We can't really look at other results because they're out of our hands, we've just got to pick up as many points as we can."

Stanley know how quickly fortunes can change as they recovered from a similar run in League One earlier this season with big wins against Bolton (7-1) and Portsmouth (4-1).

And Maguire noted that the Reds have performed well against the teams at the top end of the table.

"It shouldn't be the case but you can see from this season that we generally play better against the bigger teams, whereas we have struggled against the teams around us.

"The games against the bigger teams do give you that automatic motivation, but that should be the case for every game you play."

And, approaching the end of his first season with the club, the 24-year-old former Fleetwood full back is looking to make an impact.

"On a personal note, I'll be doing all I can to remain in the team until the end of the campaign," said Maguire.

"This season has allowed me to get to terms of how the club works and I now know how the team plays and how the manager wants me to play."