IT is approximately three weeks since Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman last looked at the League Two table because, he says, "it hurts".

But the Reds boss is nevertheless confident that a winning run between now and the end of the season would land them in the play-offs.

Stanley have been on the fringes for months but losing half of their last 10 games has caused them to drop off the pace.

However, having seen Burton claw their way out of difficulty thanks to a six-game winning run, and Oxford push themselves into play-off contention with seven wins on the spin Coleman says there is no reason why his side cannot do similar in their remaining six games.

“If we win the next six games, you are going into the play-offs so what not try and achieve that? Until you can’t, you can so why not focus on the 'can' rather than the 'can’t'?" said Coleman.

"All as I know is if we can get on a run and teams have been on great runs this season... Burton went on a run where they won (six) on the bounce - that could be anyone in the league. Oxford went on a run where they won seven on the bounce.

"Someone can. We've got to believe it can be us."

Conceding 12 goals in games at Peterborough (7-0) and at home to AFC Wimbledon (5-1) last weekend has been punishing. But Coleman is proud of the way his players have bounced back, on both occasions.

Goalless draws against Burton Albion at the Wham Stadium and away to Blackpool followed both of those games, reassuring the Stanley boss that his players have plenty of fight in them.

“There was bruised pride after the 5-1 loss to AFC Wimbledon, none so more than the staff as we feel it as much as the players," said Coleman.

“The players wanted to reaffirm that they are a good set of lads and good players and the best teams in the world get heavily defeated.

“The results on Saturday, no one would have called Crewe losing 6-0 to Oxford but you get strange results, particularly this season, results are getting even stranger.”

The goalless draw at Blackpool was bitter-sweet in the end, after Colby Bishop had late penalty saved by Chris Maxwell.

"I came away feeling like a defeat. It's hard. We had to put a right shift in and I was really pleased for them that they got the clean sheet, but when you miss a penalty in the last minute, it’s always disappointing," Coleman added.

“We maybe could and should have won but, on the balance of play, probably a draw was a fair result. We would have taken that before the game, we would have certainly taken a clean sheet and a 0-0 but you never set out to get a 0-0.

“I never set out to get a draw but we had to tighten up and our thinking was we could counter on them and use our pace up front.

“We didn’t get as many attacking opportunities as what I would have liked but, if you look at how hard the lads work, I have got to be pleased and the lads have got to be pleased.”