ACCRINGTON Stanley stalwart Jack Barrett was the embodiment of the ‘Spirit of ‘68’ – standing up to be counted and inspire the football club’s revival.

It is a part of Accrington’s past that has been brought to the fore in the last fortnight – most recently on Tuesday with the 88-year-old’s funeral.

The eulogy, heard by all the first team players, management and staff, served as a reminder of the efforts Barrett and others went to in order to bring league football back to the town.

Laurence Wilson believes the message is helping the players preserve it, fostering the ‘Spirit of 2013’ and a determination to ‘Do if for Jack!’ “I didn’t really know much about the club until the funeral. It’s not a nice thing to go to but it showed how passionate he was and it gives you that little extra kick to keep the club in the league,” said the left back.

“He was here when the club were lower down the leagues and now the club are in the Football League. The last thing we want to do is drop down now – we’d like to stay in the league for him.”

The Reds are certainly going the right way about it, having picked up 11 points from their last six games.

But their upturn in form has not been reflected at the bottom of League Two, with results for teams around them keeping Stanley just two points clear of the relegation zone going into the last three games.

The first of those is against Wilson’s old club, Morecambe, tomorrow. A win would give them a head start on their rivals going into the weekend’s fixtures.

But Wilson insists the players are prepared to go down to the wire if necessary, and have the character to come out on top.

“Even if it comes down to the last kick of the last game on the last day of the season I fancy us to stay up, because we keep going no matter what the score is,” said the 26-year-old Everton Academy graduate.

“We were ahead against Burton and then they went ahead but we came back late on and that could prove a crucial point. It was the same away at Wycombe. It looked as if it was going to a bore draw and then Lee (Molyneux) scored and it turned out to be a win for us. That was another two points gained and hopefully they’ll all add up.

“These late goals could prove crucial. It just shows that we haven’t given up in any game.

“It’s a mental thing but it’s also about the situation we’re in. At the moment it doesn’t matter how you get the goals or where they come from or whether they are own goals. Every point is crucial and we’d take a scruffy 1-0 win in the 95th minute any day. We just need to keep picking up the points.”

Wilson has been here before, with Chester City on 2008-09. This relegation is different, he feels, because there is a confident vibe around the Crown Ground.

“I don’t want to say anything bad about Chester but there was a sense they were doomed. The worst thing was there were teams that year who had been deducted points and we hadn’t and we still went down. One of the teams were minus 30 and they nearly caught us. Everything seemed to be going against us at that time, and there was only ever going to be one outcome really,” he said.

“The spirit here is high. Everyone has a laugh every day and especially with the way we’ve been playing recently.

“Everyone seems to be pulling their weight and we want to win for each other. We don’t want to go down. Nobody wants to be relegated and everyone is fighting to keep the club in the league.

“It’s people’s jobs. It’s not just the players, it’s the secretary, the office staff and the media people, the physios and the manager and even the fans. They don’t want to come and watch the team they’ve supported all their lives in the Conference. They want to see the team in the league.”

And Wilson is confident of securing safety.

“The way we are going then I think we will stay up,” he said.

“I think we are mentally strong enough and have a good enough team.”