LEE Molyneux says it is safety first for Accrington Stanley. But the wide man is not anticipating a relegation battle like last year, after returning to a Reds squad that he insists is stronger than the one he left.

Molyneux left to join League One Crewe after crucial goals – including a winner at Bristol Rovers – helped Stanley avoid the drop in the penultimate game last season.

He came back on loan last month, in search of first team football after struggling to secure a regular place at Gresty Road.

Tomorrow’s trip to second bottom Torquay is the last fixture of his initial 28-day deal.

But Molyneux admitted he has already seen enough in a short space of time to suggest that Stanley, who are five points clear of the Gulls, should be looking up rather than over their shoulders.

“I said when I first came back I could see after a few days the squad looked a lot stronger than last year.

“We’ve got a few more experienced heads in the team now and I think as a whole there is more quality in the team, and a lot more confidence in and around the squad as well than last year.

“It wasn’t a nice time at the back end of the season, when you are fighting for survival for the club.

“This time around there’s a lot more confidence in the squad, that we’re going into games and we can get wins.

“For me that’s the main difference.”

He added: “Torquay and Northampton are down there now.

“We’re sort of not looking at how many points we are away from them, we’re looking at the likes of Morecambe and York who are up there in mid-table.

“We’re looking at maybe catching them.

“Obviously the priority is being safe but we’re looking forward. We want to climb the table and finish as high as we possibly can.”

Molyneux knows the importance of tomorrow’s game at Torquay, followed by Tuesday night’s re-arranged game at 17th placed Portsmouth, and has targeted a maximum return.

“We want six points.

“It’s all about climbing that table and picking up as many points as possible.

“It’s a massive week in terms of having three games in seven days, and this is where the strength of the squad is probably come into play.

“Some players might not be able to play three games in a week, or there might be an injury. Touch wood there isn’t! But with Laurence (Wilson) getting sent off the other night the squad’s got to be utilised and I think everyone will have a big part to play this week.

“It’s all about pulling together and hopefully getting six points.”

Left back Wilson starts a three-match ban tomorrow for the straight red card he received for a late challenge on Bury winger Craig Jones in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at the Store First Stadium.