PAUL Smyth describes his last trip to Sunderland with Accrington Stanley as “one of the best experiences I’ve had”. But he is hoping to get the chance to top it today to keep Accrington Stanley in the play-off hunt.

Smyth scored his first goal for the Reds against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light during his first spell on loan from QPR two years ago, the season after Stanley won promotion to League One.

John Coleman’s men led 2-0 on 52 minutes, with Smyth scoring after having won the penalty that Billy Kee converted on the half-hour, only to be pegged back and have to settle for a point.

Now, sitting just five points outside of the play-offs with four games to go, it is all to play for this afternoon, and Smyth is in agreement with Coleman in believing they still have a chance of a top six finish.

“You have to don’t you? What’s the point of not believing? You may as well just give up now abs not turn up for the rest of the games,” said the Irishman.

“We’ve got a great squad, great bunch of lads and all we can do is go out and enjoy it as much as we can and not take it too seriously and hope things pan out our way with teams losing and us winning.”

Of the last time he faced Sunderland with Stanley, Smyth added: “It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had, especially watching Sunderland as a kid, one of the biggest teams in the Premier League at the time fanbase wise.

“It was brilliant, to score as well and set up the penalty for Billy to score. It was good.

“Obviously they came back and showed their quality and class when it went to 2-2, but very very fond memories of that place and hopefully we’ll get more on Saturday.”

Paul Smyth celebrates scoring against Sunderland

Paul Smyth celebrates scoring against Sunderland