John Coleman has told Stanley to believe they are promotion contenders in League One after their 0-0 draw with Blackpool.

The Accrington boss is convinced Neil Critchley's Seasiders will be challenging for the top six at the end of the season and he says his eighth-placed team should be too.

Blackpool’s Jerry Yates hit the post in the first half while visiting keeper Chris Maxwell superbly denied Dion Charles after the break when the striker was clean though.

It means the Reds have lost just one of their last 10 games heading into Christmas.

“I told my players at half-time that they look promotion candidates and they have got to act like it, and that’s not being cocky but having an air of confidence about them and to believe they are going to win,” said Coleman.

“I think Blackpool will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season and, on this showing, there is no reason why we can’t be too.

“I thought my lads showed a great appetite for the game and it was end-to-end in the second half and it was entertaining.

“Sean McConville had a good chance in the first half but the ball got stuck under his foot and we kept knocking on the door.

“I thought it looked like two teams are who are capable of challenging for promotion.

“It was difficult conditions with a howling wind and the swirling rain and probably a draw was a fair result although I felt we had the lion’s share of the play.”

Chances were limited before the break. Sean McConville was clean through for the Reds after 15 minutes but he took one touch too many and Maxwell smothered the ball.

Blackpool came the closest when, in the 26th minute, CJ Hamilton set up Yates on the edge of the area and his fierce strike hit the woodwork.

The game opened up in the second half and Hamilton broke at pace after 58 minutes and set up Yates in the area but Chelsea loan keeper Nathan Baxter, keeping his place ahead of Toby Savin, came out to deny him.

Two minutes later, defender Ollie Turton did well to stop McConville having a clean shot on goal while Charles was one-on-one but Maxwell kept out his strike with his legs.

Charles and Joe Pritchard both fired narrowly wide for the Reds as it finished all-square.