JOHN Coleman is delighted to be building a side around the "Stanley hardcore" after Chelsea loanee Jon Russell was a match-winner for the second time this season.

Russell scored inside two minutes as Stanley, playing their first league game for almost a month, moved into the top half of League One with a thoroughly deserved win at Northampton Town.

The 1-0 scoreline didn’t do justice to their dominance, with Coleman’s one disappointment being that they didn’t win by more.

Dion Charles was the provider for Russell’s well-taken goal, a standout piece of play in what was a real battle in difficult conditions. Charles could have had a hat-trick himself, missing two excellent opportunities as well as seeing one shot saved by Jonathan Mitchell.

Coleman was delighted with the workrate of his side, all 11 players coming through 90 minutes, to see out a deserved win.

While the new faces, and shape, have added a freshness to the squad, Coleman says the long-standing players are crucial, with Sean McConville continuing his return after an extended absence.

“We’ve still got the Stanley hardcore and it’s important we have that,” the Reds boss said.

“Sean is has a massive impact on the squad, just having him around the training and on the bench that’s a great boost.

“Mark Hughes and Seamus Conneely were fantastic, Joe Pritchard is starting to feel part of the furniture and the one thing we’ve got is that the players who are here want to be here.

“They’ve got a point to prove and it’s a good feeling when you’ve got that. You can’t fault their effort, that’s one thing you can say about this group of lads, they’ve got hearts like lions and if you work hard you deserve a little bit of luck.”

Russell, aged 20, was the difference maker as he got on the scoresheet for the third time this season.

It’s been a strong start to life at the Wham Stadium for the Chelsea youngster, who curled a further effort wide in the first half and also set up a late chance for Charles.

Coleman said the coaching staff had spoken to Russell about making more breaks from midfield and it took him just two minutes to show that prowess, reminiscent of former Stanley man Matt Crooks, according to his manager.

He added: “We’ve been talking to Jon and watched his videos and said he had to be more dynamic, carry the ball and run forward, burst through.

“People who have been Accrington for a while, he’s reminiscent of Matt Crooks in his heyday, he has that feel and energy, that ability to drive forward, he’s going to be a top player.”